Admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is very stressful to the family members. Their understanding of the functioning of the ICU and various devices may be limited. Patient information brochures may help bridge this gap. Objective: Assess the knowledge of family members regarding ICU care before and after they were given the educational brochure.
After making a needs assessment from family members, and the health care teams from 8 centers, a text for the frequently asked questions and answers was developed and feed back solicited from different groups. An ICU brochure addressing these questions was then developed to a Fleish Kinkaid score with ease of reading 75.5 and grade level 5. 41 patient families whose loved ones were admitted in the hospital in South Texas were provided with a questionnaire to assess their basic knowledge about commonly used devices, code status, different members of the health care team and life support machines. After they completed the questionnaire, they were provided with the patient education booklet. 1 hour later they were given the same questionnaire. They were asked if they found the educational book helpful.
Family members had deficiency in knowledge regarding the role of respiratory therapist, pulse oximetry and DNR status which improved after reading the educational booklet(82% and 97% (p value 0.02); 75% and 95% (p value 0.003); 43% and 97% (p value < 0.00001)respectively. On the follow-up questionnaire they scored above 85%consistently. 100% of family members found the educational brochure useful.
Significant lack of understanding revolves around important issue of DNR, which showed improvement with education provided by the information brochure.
Families of critically ill patients lack understanding regarding ICU care Education brochure can help to bridge that gap Weather this will make them informed partners in the care of their loved one needs to be further studied.
Salim Surani, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information