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Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva

Print version ISSN 0103-507XOn-line version ISSN 1982-4335


URIZZI, Fabiane et al. The experience of family members of patients staying in intensive care units. Rev. bras. ter. intensiva [online]. 2008, vol.20, n.4, pp.370-375. ISSN 0103-507X.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the experience of family members, during a patient's stay in the intensive care unit of public and private hospitals using an approximation to the phenomenology referential. METHODS: We interviewed 27 relatives of adult patients, 10 from a public institution and 17 from a private one. RESULTS: From analyses of interviews in a public institution, four thematic categories emerged. In a private institution six categories were identified. Searching for differences and similarities, four similar thematic categories were perceived in both institutions and two categories were absent in the public hospital. CONCLUSION: There are no significant differences between categories in private and public hospitals. This indicates that family behavior and reactions to patient's admission to the ICU are not associated with social or financial aspects. However, a greater knowledge of government policies and programs is necessary, because they favor humanization by allowing family members to accompany the patient in tertiary services.

Keywords : Intensive care units; In-patients; Professional-family relations; Family relations; Qualitative research.

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