Family Satisfaction in Critical Care Units: Does an Open Visiting Hours Policy Have an Impact?

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Abstract

Methods

This is a cross-sectional prospective observational study conducted between November 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010, in 2 critical care units with 2 different visiting policy systems, unit A (open visiting hours) and B (restricted visiting hours), comparing family satisfaction in both units using the CCFSS questionnaire. Responses were grouped in 5 satisfaction constructs, namely, the support construct, which assesses the degree of satisfaction with the support of the intensive care staff as perceived by relatives; the assurance construct, which assesses the degree of satisfaction regarding honest answers being given and the responder's confidence that the patient is receiving the best care possible; the proximity construct, which assesses the degree of satisfaction with the physical and emotional access to the patient; the information construct, which assesses the degree of satisfaction with the adequacy of information given to relatives; and the comfort construct, which assesses satisfaction with physical comfort and amenities.

Results

During the study period, 115 questionnaires were distributed in each of the 2 sites. The response rates in units A and B were 92% (106) and 100% (115), respectively. The mean stay time in the intensive care unit was 3.7 days. There were more trauma cases in unit A and more cardiac patients in unit B. There was no significant difference between the 2 units in any of the 5 satisfaction constructs, the support, assurance, proximity, information, and comfort constructs, although there was a nonsignificant trend favoring the unit with the more liberal visit policy regarding amenities (unit A).

Conclusions

We concluded that family satisfaction to care provided in intensive care as measured by the CCFSS questionnaire was not influenced by frequency of visitation among Saudi families. Factors other than open visiting hours may be important to evaluate.

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