Families’ Stressors and Needs at Time of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation: A Jordanian Perspective

  •  Rami Masa'Deh    
  •  Ahmad Saifan    
  •  Stephen Timmons    
  •  Stuart Nairn    


Background: During cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, family members, in some hospitals, are usually pushed to stay out of the resuscitation room. However, growing literature implies that family presence during resuscitation could be beneficial. Previous literature shows controversial belief whether or not a family member should be present during resuscitation of their relative. Some worldwide association such as the American Heart Association supports family-witnessed resuscitation and urge hospitals to develop policies to ease this process. The opinions on family-witnessed resuscitation vary widely among various cultures, and some hospitals are not applying such polices yet. This study explores family members’ needs during resuscitation in adult critical care settings.

Methods: This is a part of larger study. The study was conducted in six hospitals in two major Jordanian cities. A purposive sample of seven family members, who had experience of having a resuscitated relative, was recruited over a period of six months. Semi-structured interview was utilised as the main data collection method in the study.

Findings: The study findings revealed three main categories: families’ need for reassurance; families’ need for proximity; and families’ need for support. The need for information about patient’s condition was the most important need. Updating family members about patient’s condition would reduce their tension and improve their acceptance for the end result of resuscitation. All interviewed family members wanted the option to stay beside their loved one at end stage of their life. Distinctively, most of family members want this option for some religious and cultural reasons such as praying and supplicating to support their loved one.

Conclusions: This study emphasizes the importance of considering the cultural and religious dimensions in any family-witnessed resuscitation programs. The study recommends that family members of resuscitated patients should be treated properly by professional communication and involving them in the treatment process. The implications concentrate on producing specific guidelines for allowing family-witnessed resuscitation in the Jordanian context. Finally, attaining these needs will in turn decrease stress of those witnessing resuscitation of their relative.

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