Family experience survey in the surgical intensive care unit

Bridget Twohig, Anthony Manasia, Adel Bassily-Marcus, John Oropello, Matthew Gayton, Christine Gaffney, Roopa Kohli-Seth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The experience of critical care is stressful for both patients and their families. This is especially true when patients are not able to make their own care decisions. This article details the creation of a Family Experience Survey in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU) to capture and improve overall experience. Kolcaba's "Enhanced Comfort Theory" provided the theoretical basis for question formation, specifically in regards to the four aspects of comfort: "physical," "psycho-spiritual," "sociocultural" and "environmental." Survey results were analyzed in real-time to identify and implement interventions needed for issues raised. Overall, there was a high level of satisfaction reported especially with quality of care provided to patients, communication and availability of nurses and doctors, explanations from staff, inclusion in decision making, the needs of patients being met, quality of care provided to patients and cleanliness of the unit. It was noted that 'N/A' was indicated for cultural needs and spiritual needs, a chaplain now rounds on all patients daily to ensure these services are more consistently offered. In addition, protocols for doctor communication with families, palliative care consults, daily bleach cleaning of high touch areas in patient rooms and nurse-led progressive mobility have been implemented. Enhanced comfort theory enabled the opportunity to identify and provide a more 'broad' approach to care for patients and families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-284
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Critical care
  • Enhanced comfort theory
  • Family and patient satisfaction
  • Survey


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