Anxiety in patients and family members after transfer from intensive care

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Leith, Beverly A.
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Transfer from intensive care (ICU) to the general hospital floor can be an anxiety provoking event for both patients and family members. The goal of this nursing thesis study was to provide additional information about anxiety in patients and families after transfer from a medical ICU: This descriptive survey used four tools and a structured interview to obtain quantitative and qualitative data; 53 patients and 35 family members from 2 Canadian university affiliated tertiary care centres participated. Major find ngs included that 77% of patients and family members experienced moderate to severe levels of anxiety after transfer from ICU. Patients and family members were also found to have received a minimal amount of information related to transfer from ICU. Additional results from this study suggest that sex, severity of illness, length of stay in ICU, type of transfer (planned versus unplanned), and the amount of information received related to transfer from ICU cannot be used to predict the level of anxiety after transfer in either patients or family members. The combined quantitative and qualitative data from this study identified that an individuals perspective may be a significant factor for the development of transfer anxiety. Those who had a positive response to transfer from ICU experienced mild anxiety, those who had a neutral or ambivalent response experienced moderate anxiety, and those had a negative response experienced severe anxiety. Based on these findings, a nursing intervention to prevent or reduce transfer anxiety may be to assist patients and family members to develop and maintain a positive perception of the transfer from ICU.