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Family satisfaction in an interdisciplinary ICU: a quality audit


The quality of intensive care medicine depends on multiple indicators [1, 2]. Meeting relatives' needs in the challenging situation of ICU visits is crucial. The aim of this audit was to assess next of kin's satisfaction and influencing factors.


With institutional approval, questionnaires were distributed to family members of ICU patients. The survey included two visual analogue scale ratings (VAS 1: patient care, VAS 2: decision-making) and 24 questions with four dimensions D1 to D4 (general impression, treatment and patient care quality, professional quality) on a five-point Likert scale, transformed into values 1 to 100. Patient-specific and relatives' sociodemographic data were recorded. Data are presented as the mean ± SD, median (Q.5), interquartile range (IQR) and range (minimum/maximum). Subgroup analysis (relative's and patient's age, sex, education, marital status, length of stay, visit frequency and mortality) was performed using the Mann-Whitney U test.


Questionnaires of 159 patients were analyzed (patients: age = 66.1 ± 13.0 years, 64% female, SAPS = 38.8 ± 17.5, LOS = 13.5 ± 11.8 days, mortality = 16.5%; relatives: age = 44.5 ± 26.9 years, 63.7% female, 13% medical/25.5% higher education). High satisfaction (VAS 1/2, D1 to D4) was observed (Table 1). Significant differences within subgroups were found: relatives with healthcare education showed higher D1 to D4 satisfaction than the ones with a graduate degree only. Higher VAS scorings were observed from next of kin with high visit frequency (≥5×/week).

Table 1 Table 1


Relatives of ICU patients were in general highly satisfied. The educational status and ICU visit frequency of the next of kin were revealed to be influencing factors.


  1. 1.

    Intensive Care Med. 2007, 33: 1913-1920.

  2. 2.

    Intensive Care Med. 2009, 35: 2051-2059. 10.1007/s00134-009-1611-4.

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Correspondence to UM Schmid.

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Schmid, U., Alpiger, R., Rizzo, T. et al. Family satisfaction in an interdisciplinary ICU: a quality audit. Crit Care 16, P496 (2012).

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  • Intensive Care Medicine
  • Visit Frequency
  • Quality Audit
  • Professional Quality
  • Challenging Situation