There has been an identified need for greater patient and family member involvement in healthcare. This is particularly relevant in an intensive care unit (ICU), as the family provides a key communicative and practical link between patient and clinician. Family members have been deemed a positive beneficial influence on ICU care and recovery processes, yet they themselves are often emotionally affected after discharge.
There has been no standardised evidenced-based approach which explores research on family member involvement and the range and quality of contributions remain unclear. This study from Xyrichis et al. undertook a systematic review to assess the evidence base for interventions designed to promote patient and family member involvement in adult intensive care settings and develop a comprehensive typology of interventions for use by clinicians, patients and carers.
The review provides valuable and rigorous insight into the range and quality of interventions available to promote patient and family member involvement in ICU. This is the first step towards addressing the absence of a synthesis of research for this context, and will, in addition, develop a typology of available interventions that will help service users and clinicians make informed decisions about the approaches to patient and family member involvement which they might want to adopt.