0
Original Research |

Family Member Satisfaction With End-of-Life Decision Making in the ICU*

Cynthia J. Gries, MD, MSc; J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH, FCCP; Richard J. Wall, MD, MPH; Ruth A. Engelberg, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Correspondence to: Cynthia J. Gries, MD, MSc, 1959 NE Pacific St, Box 356522, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; e-mail: cderuit1@u.washington.edu


Chest. 2008;133(3):704-712. doi:10.1378/chest.07-1773
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Rationale: Families of ICU patients may be at risk for increased psychological morbidity due to end-of-life decision making. The identification of chart-based quality indicators of palliative care that predict family satisfaction with decision making may help to guide interventions to improve decision making and family outcomes.

Objective: To determine patient and family characteristics and chart the documentation of processes of care that are associated with increased family satisfaction with end-of-life decision making for ICU patients.

Methods: We conducted a cohort study of ICU patients dying in 10 medical centers in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Measurement: Outcomes from family surveys included summary scores for family satisfaction with decision making and a single-item score that indicated feeling supported during decision making. Predictor variables were obtained from surveys and chart abstraction.

Main results: The survey response rate was 41% (442 of 1,074 families responded). Analyses were conducted of 356 families with questionnaire and chart abstraction data. Family satisfaction with decision making was associated with the withdrawal of life support, and chart documentation of physician recommendations to withdraw life support, discussions of patients’ wishes, and discussions of families’ spiritual needs. Feeling supported during decision making was associated with the withdrawal of life support, spiritual care involvement, and chart documentation of physician recommendations to withdraw life support, expressions of families’ wishes to withdraw life support, and discussions of families’ spiritual needs.

Conclusions: Increased family satisfaction with decision making is associated with withdrawing life support and the documentation of palliative care indicators including the following: physician recommendations to withdraw life support; expressions of patients’ wishes; and discussions of families’ spiritual needs. These findings provide direction for future studies to investigate approaches to improving family satisfaction in end-of-life decision making. In addition, because there were few nonwhites in this study, these results may not be generalizable to more diverse populations. Future studies should target diverse populations in order to test whether similar factors are similarly important for end-of-life decision making.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
Guidelines
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543