An intervention study to improve the transfer of ICU patients to the ward - evalaution by family members.
ABSTRACT Introduction: This study evaluates family members' perspective of transfer from an intensive care unit (ICU) to a general ward. This intervention study directed towards patients' family members, examined the efficacy of a structured individualised method of patient transfer from the perspective of families. A specifically designed brochure provided nurses with key points to discuss with families impending patient transfer. Families retained the brochure, which contained specific information hand written by the nurse. Methods: A quasi-experimental comparative design was used. The researcher purposively allocated family members to a control (n=80) and intervention group (n=82). The intervention group experienced a structured individualised transfer method developed by the researcher whereas the control group received existing ad hoc transfer methods. Families were surveyed after transfer with a ten-item questionnaire. Results: The intervention group of family members experienced significantly higher levels of satisfaction with the information given to them before transfer from ICU than did the control group (p = .015). The intervention group also recorded significantly higher scores when their level of understanding of information was evaluated (p = .002) and they felt significantly more prepared for transfer than those in those in the control group (p = .001). The intervention group were informed as transfer plans were being made significantly more than those in the control group (p < .0001) and had fewer worries with the information given to them (p=.002). Conclusions: This study supports the introduction of a two-tiered approach to sharing information with family members prior to transfer. The face-to-face communication and individualised brochure for the family contributed significantly to families' satisfaction, preparation and communication about patient transfer and is thus recommended. Further research to replicate and extend this study is recommended with patients and families transferred from ICU for palliative care requiring a specific intervention to support them prior to transfer.
Australia Critical Care