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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 74

of 'Palliative care: Issues in the intensive care unit in adults'

74
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An evaluation of family-centered care services and organization of visiting policies in Belgian intensive care units: a multicenter survey.
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Vandijck DM, Labeau SO, Geerinckx CE, De Puydt E, Bolders AC, Claes B, Blot SI, Executive Board of the Flemish Society for Critical Care Nurses, Ghent and Edegem, Belgium
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Heart Lung. 2010 Mar;39(2):137-46. Epub 2009 Jul 22.
 
BACKGROUND: Admission in an intensive care unit (ICU) is a major cause of psychologic stress for the patient and the entire family, and liberalization of visitation has been shown to have a beneficial impact. However, despite the data available, practice has not changed much to incorporate these findings.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the visiting policies of Belgian ICUs.
METHODS: A descriptive multicenter questionnaire survey was prospectively conducted.
RESULTS: Fifty-seven ICUs completed the questionnaire (75.0%). All (100%) reported restricted visiting-hour policies, and limited numbers of visitors. Mean total daily visiting time was 69+/-33 minutes. The type of visitors was restricted to only immediate relatives in 11 ICUs (19.3%). Children were not allowed in 5 ICUs (8.8%), and 46 ICUs (80.7%) fixed an age limit for visiting. Thirty ICUs (52.6%) were providing families with information in a special room in addition to the waiting room, whereas 6 (10.5%) reported having no waiting room available, and 9 ICUs (15.8%) provided an information leaflet. A structured first family meeting at time of admission was organized in 42 ICUs (73.7%). A final family meeting at ICU discharge was planned in only 16 centers (28.1%).
CONCLUSION: Participating ICUs homogeneously reported restricted visiting policies regarding visiting hours and type and number of visitors. According to the evidence available, providing a plea for more liberal visitation, these results may be a first step toward reorganization of visiting policies in Belgian ICUs.
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Department of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Dominique.Vandijck@UGent.be
PMID