[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There has been growing evidence to suggest that by not actively supporting children who have a critically ill loved one in an Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), we may be doing them a great disservice. Decreased understanding and feelings of abandonment and helplessness can prevail. The primary purpose of this research was to explore the resources currently available to support a child with a critically ill adult member of their family (or significant other) in ITU, whom they may wish to visit. Available support for nursing staff that enables them to do this has also been explored. A descriptive postal survey was used in 2003 to collect data from 46 adult general and cardiothoracic ITUs nationally. The findings illustrated that there was a lack of written policy and very little written information for adult visitors regarding the needs of children who have a loved one in ITU. There was also a dearth of resources for nursing staff pertaining to children and their needs (when visiting a critically ill adult), including a lack of any formal or informal education on the subject. Clearly, restrictions were still being imposed on children visiting a loved one either by the well parent/carer or by the nursing staff, mainly for reasons unsubstantiated by research.
No preview · Article · Jul 2005 · Intensive and Critical Care Nursing
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditionally, children appear to have been discouraged from visiting in adult intensive therapy units. Various reasons have been given, mostly unsubstantiated by research. There is minimal information specifically related to this topic, but all studies (and related studies) reviewed propose visiting as a method to help children cope with critical illness in an adult family member. This postal survey offers a general perspective of how units have responded to the nursing literature and previous recommendations to date. This appears to have been the first national study specifically exploring the support for children visiting (or who may wish to visit) a critically ill adult in an intensive therapy unit. This study highlights (perhaps for the first time) not only the lack of policy and staff education but also the lack of available information for visitors, regarding visits by children so that they can make informed choices together.
No preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Nursing in Critical Care