Attitudes of healthcare providers towards family involvement and presence in adult critical care units in Saudi Arabia: a quantitative study

Abbas Saleh Al-Mutair, Virginia Margaret Plummer, Anthony O'Brien, Rosemary Anne Clerehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


To describe healthcare providers attitudes to family involvement during routine care and family presence during resuscitation or other invasive procedures in adult intensive care units in Saudi Arabia. Background: Previous research has shown that healthcare professionals have revealed a diversity of opinions on family involvement during routine care and family presence during resuscitation or other invasive procedures. Attitude assessment can provide an indication of staff acceptance or rejection of the practice and also help identify key potential barriers that will need to be addressed. It has also been evident that participation in the care has potential benefits for patients and families as well as healthcare providers. Design: A quantitative descriptive design. Methods: A questionnaire was used with a convenience sample of 468 healthcare providers who were recruited from eight intensive care units. Results: The analysis found that healthcare providers had positive attitudes towards family involvement during routine care, but negative attitudes towards family presence during resuscitation or other invasive procedures. Physicians expressed more opposition to the practice than did nurses and respiratory therapists. Staff indicated a need to develop written guidelines and policies, as well as educational programmes, to address this sensitive issue in clinical practice. Conclusion: Family is an important resource in patient care in the context of the critical care environment. Clinical barriers including resources, hospital policies and guidelines, staff and public education should be taken into account to facilitate family integration to the care model. Relevance to clinical practice: The findings can help to develop policies and guidelines for safe implementation of the practice. They can also encourage those who design nursing and other medical curricula to place more emphasis on the role of the family especially in critical care settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744 - 755
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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