The needs of patient family members in the intensive care unit in Kigali, Rwanda

Paul Munyiginya, Petra Brysiewicz


Background. The admission of a relative to an intensive care unit (ICU) is a stressful experience for family members. There has been limited research addressing this issue in Kigali, Rwanda.

Objective. To explore the needs of patient family members admitted into an ICU in Kigali, Rwanda.

Methods. This study used a quantitative exploratory design focused on exploring the needs of patient family members in ICU at one hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Family members (N=40) were recruited using the convenience sampling strategy. The Critical Care Family Needs Inventory was used to collect relevant data.

Results. The participants identified various needs to be met for the family during the patient’s admission in ICU. The most important was the need for assurance, followed by the need for comfort, information, proximity and lastly support. Three additional needs specific to this sample group were also identified, related to resource constraints present in the hospital where the study was carried out.

Conclusion. These results offer insight for nurses and other healthcare professionals as to what the important needs are that must be considered for the patient family members in ICUs within a resource-constrained environment.

Authors' affiliations

Paul Munyiginya, Faculty of Nursing Sciences, Kigali Health Institute, Rwanda

Petra Brysiewicz, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Family; Family needs; Intensive care unit; Critical care family needs inventory

Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2014;30(1):5-8. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.162

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-03-22
Date published: 2014-07-08

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