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Measuring Family Satisfaction With Care Delivered in the Intensive Care Unit
Critical Care Nurse
  • Kathleen Clark, Sacred Heart University
  • Kerry A. Milner, Sacred Heart University
  • Marlene Beck, Sacred Heart University
  • Virginia Mason, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Document Type
Peer-Reviewed Article
Publication Date


In our competitive health care environment, measuring the experience of family members of patients in the intensive care unit to ensure that health care providers are meeting families' needs is critical. Surveys from Press Ganey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are unable to capture families' satisfaction with care in this setting. OBJECTIVE:

To implement a sustainable measure for family satisfaction in a 12-bed medical and surgical intensive care unit. To assess the feasibility of the selected tool for measuring family satisfaction and to make recommendations that are based on the results. METHOD:

A descriptive survey design using the Family Satisfaction in the Intensive Care Unit 24-item questionnaire to measure satisfaction with care and decision-making. RESULTS:

Forty family members completed the survey. Overall, the mean score for families' satisfaction with care was 72.24% (SD, 14.87%) and the mean score for families' satisfaction with decision-making was 72.03% (SD, 16.61%). Families reported that nurses put them at ease and provided understandable explanations. Collaboration, inclusion of families in clinical discussions, and timely information regarding changes in the patient's condition were the most common points brought up in free-text responses from family members. Written communication, including directions and expectations, would have improved the families' experience. CONCLUSION:

Although patients' family members reported being satisfied with their experience in the intensive care unit, there is room for improvement. Effective communication among the health care team, patients' families, and patients will be targeted for quality improvement initiatives.

Citation Information

Clark, K., Milner, K.A., Beck, M. & Mason, V. (2016). Measuring family satisfaction with care delivered in the intensive care unit. Critical Care Nurse, 36(6), e8-e14. doi:10.4037/ccn2016276