Needs of adult patients in intensive care units of Estonian hospitals: a questionnaire survey.
ABSTRACT To describe the intensive care unit patients' perceptions about the importance of their different needs and how their needs are met in Estonian hospitals, and to determine the correlations between the patients' perceptions and their demographic characteristics and background variables.
Meeting needs of patients in intensive care unit is important for avoiding unpleasant experiences and providing patient-centred care.
A descriptive questionnaire survey.
The study was performed in sixteen intensive care units (ICUs) in six acute care hospitals in Estonia. Data were collected over six months in 2008 using the structured five-point scale questionnaire Needs of Adult Patients in Intensive Care Unit. The Convenience sample consisted of The adult patients discharged from ICUs to hospital wards able to answer the questionnaire (n = 166). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and statistical tests.
Patients' needs varied and were sometimes unmet. The most important needs were physical comfort and feeling safe. Privacy, involvement of family and friends and being involved in decision-making were less important. The more important a need was perceived to be, the better it was met. The need for physical comfort was met best, involvement in decision-making worst. Patients with lower educational level and unscheduled patients agreed more that their needs were met. The better the patients considered their condition when leaving the ICU, the more they agreed that their needs were met.
The findings provide a basis for understanding the needs of critically ill adults in Estonian ICUs to provide them more patient-centred care and improve their psychological well-being and quality of life after discharge.
Identifying and acknowledging the personal needs of patients in intensive care unit is important. When meeting the patients' needs, their individual characteristics should be taken into consideration.