McNeill, Jeanette

Committee Member

Clukey, Lory

Committee Member

Copeland, Darcy

Committee Member

Weil, Joyce


School of Nursing Nursing Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



164 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Critical illness can be a traumatic, stressful time for families of hospitalized critically ill patients. Understanding the characteristics and needs of families of critically ill patients can assist the health care team to provide quality care that is responsive to the unique characteristics of family members. Providing culturally congruent care can help to minimize the negative consequences of this time of crisis. The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to explore the needs of family members of hospitalized critically ill adults in a Caribbean setting. Leininger’s Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality provided the framework for this study. Survey methodology was used in a convenience sample of 42 adult family members of adult critically ill patients. This study took place in an eight-bed ICU in an acute care facility in the US Virgin Islands over three months. This study found that assurance and information needs ranked most important. Furthermore, these needs were perceived be met most frequently. However, some of the most important needs were not among needs that were met most frequently. There were significant relationships between gender and time spent at the bedside with perception of importance of needs and needs being met, respectively. However, in general, there was not a significant difference between many of the needs and selected demographic characteristics. Finally, an exploration of cultural characteristics revealed that families use prayer as an important part of coping strategies during the critical care admission. These findings have the potential to influence the provision of culturally congruent nursing care and can be used to plan educational offerings for the interdisciplinary care team.

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Copyright is held by the author.