New Guidelines Seek to Improve Family Centered Care in the ICU

Critical illness is a stressful and traumatic experience that can have lasting effects on the health of patients and families, even months after discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU). 

To address this, a new set of guidelines for promoting family-centered care in neonatal, pediatric, and adult ICUs was released during the 46th Critical Care Congress, Family-Centered Care: Translating Research into Practice. The guidelines appear in the January 2017 issue of Critical Care Medicine.

"These guidelines identify the evidence base for best practices for family-centered care in the ICU," comments lead author Judy E. Davidson, DNP, RN, FAAN, FCCM, of the University of California San Diego Health.

The new guidelines are based on evidence showing that family-centered care may prevent or lessen the impact of post-intensive care syndrome—lingering physical and mental health effects that can occur in family members as well as patients. The guidelines and supporting work tools are now available.

"Family presence, improved communication and family engagement in care may reduce post-intensive care syndrome for both patients and their family members, ultimately improving the health of our community," Judy E. Davidson notes.

Related Material: related resources, including a Gap Analysis tool.