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An analysis of information available to relatives in intensive care

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  • Political Science


The Comprehensive Critical Care Review published by the Government in 2000 acknowledges that patients are part of family units and critical illness has an extended impact. It outlines information that should be provided to relatives and suggests recommendations be implemented within 3—5 years. The aim of this study was to gauge an overall view of provisions available across general Intensive Care Units in England for relative, by conducting an analysis of nformation available and unit policies, and to see the extent that government guidelines have been adhered to. Two hundred and ten units were approached for copies of policy documents and leaflets. There was a 56% response rate. Results were collated and analysed for basic descriptive statistics using software package SPSS version 11.5. The Gunning’s Fog Index was performed on 20% of leaflets to measure readability. All leaflets measured above the recommended level. Sixteen percent of units do not have a leaflet and therefore do not comply with the Department of Health recommendations. Huge variation exists nationally over the amount and quality of information that relatives have access to and receive. Only 9% of units had an official policy on how to deal with relatives. The implications of this are discussed.

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