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Adult nursing
Critical illness and recovery should be viewed as a social process in which the patient and family members’ experiences are different but complimentary
  1. Amelia Swift
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amelia Swift, School of Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; A.Swift{at}

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Commentary on: Page P, Simpson A, Reynolds L (2018) Constructing a grounded theory of critical illness survivorship: The dualistic worlds of survivors and family members. Journal of Clinical Nursing DOI 10.1111/jocn.14655 

Implications for practice and research

  • Intensive care unit (ICU) survival occurs in a social context and recognition of this helps to improve ICU care and discharge arrangements.

  • Patients and their family members change as a result of critical illness and together work to develop a new way of being.

  • Patients are reliant on family members to help them come to terms with their critical illness and to help them recover. More research is needed to explore the family members’ perspective of this reliance and the support they need to fulfil this role.


Increasing numbers of patients admitted to ICUs survive, but survival is the first stage in the journey to recovery. Patients experience physical, psychological and cognitive dysfunction for months or …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests AS is an Associate Editor for Evidence-Based Nursing.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.