A Systematic Review of Family Meeting Tools in Palliative and Intensive Care Settings

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Abstract

Purpose:

Family meetings can be challenging, requiring a range of skills and participation. We sought to identify tools available to aid the conduct of family meetings in palliative, hospice, and intensive care unit settings.

Methods:

We systematically reviewed PubMed for articles describing family meeting tools and abstracted information on tool type, usage, and content.

Results:

We identified 16 articles containing 23 tools in 7 categories: meeting guide (n = 8), meeting planner (n = 5), documentation template (n = 4), meeting strategies (n = 2), decision aid/screener (n = 2), family checklist (n = 1), and training module (n = 1). We found considerable variation across tools in usage and content and a lack of tools supporting family engagement.

Conclusion:

There is need to standardize family meeting tools and develop tools to help family members effectively engage in the process.

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