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Family-centered outcomes during and after critical illness

current outcomes and opportunities for future investigation

Long, Ann C.; Kross, Erin K.; Curtis, J. Randall

Current Opinion in Critical Care: December 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - p 613–620
doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000360

Purpose of review Family-centered outcomes during and after critical illness assess issues that are most important to family members. An understanding of family-centered outcomes is necessary to support the provision of family-centered care and to foster development of interventions to improve care and communication in the ICU.

Recent findings Current family-centered outcomes in critical care include satisfaction with care, including end-of-life care, symptoms of psychological distress, and health-related quality of life. Novel measures include assessments of decisional conflict, decision regret, therapeutic alliance, and caregiver burden, as well as positive adaptations and resilience.

Summary Critical illness places a significant burden on family members. A wide variety of family-centered outcomes are available to guide improvements in care and communication. Future research should focus on developing sensitive and responsive measures that capture key elements of the family member experience during and after critical illness.

aDivision of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center

bCambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Correspondence to Ann C. Long, MD, MS, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Avenue, Box 359762, Seattle, WA 98104, USA. Tel: +1 206 744 5418; fax: +1 206 744 8584; e-mail:

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