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Adult nursing
Supporting family in their search for meaning and purpose during unexpected ICU admission improves coping, resilience and psychological outcomes
  1. Paige Hacker RN BSN CCRN
  1. Medical ICU, Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Paige Hacker RN BSN CCRN, Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC 27710, USA; paige.hacker{at}

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Commentary on: Wong, P, Liamputtong P, Koch S, et al. Searching for meaning: a grounded theory of family resilience in adult ICU. J Clin Nurs 2018;28:781–91. Doi: 10.111/jocn.14673

Implications for practice and research

  • To be resilient, families of intensive care unit (ICU) patients must be supported to seek and understand information, advocate for their loved one and find personal meaning and purpose in the admission.

  • Future research is needed to understand the best psychosocial interventions for family during ICU admission.


Intensive care units (ICUs) are evolving to function with increased family involvement. However, unchecked family involvement in the ICU can place a family at risk for psychological problems including anxiety, depression and if severe enough, postintensive care syndrome family (PICS-F). These risk factors may be lessened if a patient and family-centred care (PFCC) model is used. The foundation for PFCC involves dignity and respect, collaboration, information sharing and participation. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.