Development of an intensive care unit resource assessment survey for the care of critically ill patients in resource-limited settings

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Capacity to provide critical care in resource-limited settings is poorly understood because of lack of data about resources available to manage critically ill patients. Our objective was to develop a survey to address this issue.


We developed and piloted a cross-sectional self-administered survey in 9 resource-limited countries. The survey consisted of 8 domains; specific items within domains were modified from previously developed survey tools. We distributed the survey by e-mail to a convenience sample of health care providers responsible for providing care to critically ill patients. We assessed clinical sensibility and test-retest reliability.


Nine of 15 health care providers responded to the survey on 2 separate occasions, separated by 2 to 4 weeks. Clinical sensibility was high (3.9-4.9/5 on assessment tool). Test-retest reliability for questions related to resource availability was acceptable (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.75-0.99; mean (SD) of weighted κ values = 0.67 [0.19]). The mean (SD) time for survey completion survey was 21 (16) minutes.


A reliable cross-sectional survey of available resources to manage critically ill patients can be feasibly administered to health care providers in resource-limited settings. The survey will inform future research focusing on access to critical care where it is poorly described but urgently needed.

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