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Patient information after hospitalization improves humanistic care in intensive care units


Understanding patients' perceptions of caring is the basis for a more compassionate approach during hospitalization in intensive care units (ICU). Extensive literature covers the aspects of more humanistic care, but objective data on patients' experience and impression after ICU stay is rare. This article describes how ICU staff can evaluate caring environments utilizing patient information.


This study was conducted in a hospital that incorporated a humanistic approach to care since 1995. Between November 1995 and February 1997, 138 patients discharged from the ICU answered questionnaires evaluating eight relevant variables about their ICU stay. Questions cover crucial points for humanistic care: quality of information before admission; satisfaction of expectations; positive experiences during stay; stressing factors; more frequent concerns; idea of death; utilization of audio-visual equipment; intensity of relationship with the staff; and additional comments.


Twenty seven per cent of patients received instructions and visited the ICU before hospitalization; 75% considered the relationship with the staff and multidisciplinary team pleasant; 25% refer to the procedures as stressing factors; 43% refer the family as a major concern; 52% thought about death; 31% did not utilize audiovisual equipment; 36% considered health care providers close enough; and 71% of the comments about the unit were positive.


We described a simple analysis of humanistic care in general ICUs. Consistent data can be obtained to direct the attention of care providers to critical issues related to the comfort and satisfaction of critically ill patients.

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Santos, P., Povoas, H., Borges, I. et al. Patient information after hospitalization improves humanistic care in intensive care units. Crit Care 5 (Suppl 3), P81 (2001).

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  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Care Provider
  • Health Care Provider
  • Multidisciplinary Team
  • Patient Information