Anxiety, depression, and satisfaction in close relatives of patients in an open visiting policy intensive care unit in Brazil

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The purpose of the study is to evaluate the satisfaction and symptoms of anxiety and depression in family members in an open visiting intensive care unit (ICU).

Material and methods:

A prospective study conducted in a 22-bed mixed ICU in a tertiary hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Family members were enrolled 2 days after admission, and they completed a modified version of Critical Care Family Needs Inventory and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).


A total of 471 families were interviewed between March 2011 and 2013. Prevalence of anxiety and depression were of 34% and 17%, respectively. We found a high satisfaction score, median of 13 (12-14), and 5% of families were dissatisfied. The daily visiting time was 12 (8-22) hours, and until 10 hours per day, there was a positive association between visiting hours and satisfaction (P = .004). Dissatisfied families reported higher rates of anxiety and depression (P < .001). Visiting hours presented negative interaction between HADS and Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Patients' severity had a trend toward dissatisfaction (P = .08) and affected emotional disorders (P < .001).


Family members in an open visit ICU reported low rates of symptoms of anxiety and depression and high satisfaction. Visiting hours were associated with the satisfaction score and were a protective factor for family members with higher HADS score.

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