Inter-ICU transfer of patients with ventilator dependent respiratory failure: Qualitative analysis of family and physician perspectives

Nandita R. Nadig*, Katherine R. Sterba, Emily E. Johnson, Andrew J. Goodwin, Dee W. Ford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Ventilator dependent respiratory failure (VDRF) patients are seriously ill and often transferred between ICUs. Our objective was to obtain multi-stakeholder insights into the experiences of families during inter-ICU transfer. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with family members of VDRF patients as well as clinicians that have received or transferred VDRF patients to our hospital. Interviews were transcribed and template analysis was used to identify themes within/across stakeholder groups. Results: Patient, family, clinician and systems-level factors were identified as key themes during inter-ICU transfer. The main findings highlight that family members were rarely engaged in the decision to transfer as well as a lack of standardized communication between clinicians during care transitions. Family members were reassured with the care after transfer in spite of practical and financial challenges. Clinicians acknowledged the lack of a systematic approach for meeting the needs of families and suggested various resources. Conclusions: This is one of the first qualitative studies to gather a multi-stakeholder perspective and identify problems faced by families during inter-ICU transfer of VDRF patients. Practice implications: Our results provide a starting point for the development of family-centered support interventions which will need to be tested in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1703-1710
Number of pages8
JournalPatient education and counseling
Volume102
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Family perception
  • Inter-ICU transfer
  • Qualitative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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