Patients' and family members' perceptions of transfer from intensive care

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe patients' and family members' perceptions of transfer from an intensive care unit (ICU).

DESIGN

Qualitative component of a descriptive, cross-sectional survey.

SETTING

Two university-affiliated tertiary care centres in western Canada.

PARTICIPANTS

Fifty-three patients and 35 family members who had been transferred from a medical ICU within the previous 48 hours.

MEASURES

Content analysis of responses to 3 open-ended questions relating to transfer from the ICU.

RESULTS

Patients and family members had 3 major responses of transfer from the ICU: positive, neutral or ambivalent, and negative. Although some patients and family members perceived the transfer from the ICU as a sign of progress, many individuals expressed concern about the sudden and dramatic change in the level of care after transfer.

CONCLUSION

Patients and family members perceived the transfer from the ICU as a significant and sometimes negative event. (Heart Lung [registered sign] 1999;28:210-8)

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