Empowerment from the perspective of next of kin in intensive care
2009 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, Vol. 18, no 18, 2580-2587 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims and objectives. The aim of the study was to describe next of kin empowerment in an intensive care situation.
Background. Next of kin is important in reducing intensive care patients’ fear and anxiety. However, admission to an intensive care unit is often recognised as an extremely stressful event, causing next of kin to experience shock, fear, anxiety and vulnerability. More knowledge is needed about how next of kin in intensive care can be strengthen and empowered.
Design and methodology. The study was conducted using a phenomenological method and is based on ten interviews with intensive care patients’ next of kin.
Findings. Perceptions of both a genuine will and a capacity to help and relieve were found to be essential for next of kin’s experiences of empowerment in an intensive care situation. All informants were strengthened and empowered by a caring atmosphere in which they received continuous, straightforward and honest information that left room for hope, and in which closeness to the patient was facilitated and medical care was experienced as the best possible. Some of the informants were also strengthened by support from other family members and/or by being involved in caring for the patient.
Conclusions. The findings emphasise the essential entirety of what is done and how these acts are performed. A warm and positive atmosphere in which next of kin always feel welcome, are met with empathy in an unaffected way, are confirmed and receive support or advice when needed, are crucial to next of kin’s experiences of empowerment.
Relevance to clinical practice. Knowledge of how to empower next of kin in an intensive care situation allows caring staff to support these persons in a more sensitive and appropriate way. Findings underline the importance of creating caring relations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 18, no 18, 2580-2587 p.
critical care, empowerment, experiences, family, interview, nurses
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17842DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02744.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-17842DiVA: diva2:212477
This is the authors’ version of the following article:
Ingrid Wåhlin, Anna-Christina Ek and Ewa Idvall, Empowerment from the perspective of next of kin in intensive care, 2009, Journal of Clinical Nursing, (18), 18, 2580-2587.
which has been published in final form at:
Copyright: Blackwell Publishing Ltd