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Patients' and their relatives' satisfaction in an intensive care unit


The evaluation of a health service is intimately linked to the definition and the social consent and implies in values and ideologies. Its settles down in conformity or adaptation to that user's expectations.


The aim of this work was to make a descriptive study about the ICU patients and care givers satisfaction at a general hospital.

Material and methods

This is a prevalence study conducted during a period of 3 months. The sample is composed by 724 interviews (356 care givers and 368 patients), according to the inclusion criteria previously established. The instrument was a questionnaire to assess the patients' and families' satisfaction, developed especially for this purpose and is composed by Linkert scale (1-7).


The mean age of the interviewed was 56.7 years (SD=17.5 years), predominantly of female sex (60.5%). In the sample, 61.7% had university degree. Sixty-six per cent of the individuals were married. Seventy-seven per cent of the care givers were relatives (son or husband or wife) and 63% of the patients had had previous admissions at the hospital. The total satisfaction score was 6.14, and 98% of the interviewed recommended the service. The score of the variable `expectation with received service' was 6.2, with no difference for sex, age and length of stay.


We have previously identified a tendency of high level of satisfaction. This tendency was associated with scores for expectation and recommendation. The user's satisfaction is the most important indicator for measure the quality of care. However, this indicator is not precise and it must be continuously improved to provide the best information about satisfaction.

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Karam, C., Novaes, M., Andreoli, P. et al. Patients' and their relatives' satisfaction in an intensive care unit. Crit Care 5 (Suppl 3), P76 (2001).

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