COVID-19: Lessons Learned About Communication Between Family Members and Healthcare Professionals—A Qualitative Study on How Close Family Members of Patients Hospitalized in Intensive Care Unit With COVID-19 Experienced Communication and Collaboration With Healthcare Professionals

Camilla Bernild, Malene Missel, Selina Kikkenborg Berg

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Family members to patients admitted to intensive care units in general experience a psychological crisis with elevated levels of needs in support, information, assurance, and proximity. During COVID-19, this has been made more difficult as visiting restrictions prevent proximity and cause less access to communication with healthcare professionals. This study aims to explore and understand how communication with healthcare professionals was experienced by family members to patients admitted to intensive care units with COVID-19. To gain knowledge about this, 12 qualitative interviews with family members of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were conducted. Adopting Reflexive Methodology, the interpretation is carried out following 4 levels, where the empirically grounded themes are analyzed and discussed using Habermas’s theoretical concept of communication. The analysis brought forward 2 interconnected themes about how family members experienced the communication with the healthcare professionals during their loved one’s hospitalization with COVID-19: The Structure and Form of the Communication and The Contents of the Communication. The study concludes that the family members experienced large variation in the ways that healthcare professionals communicated with them. This variation in communication goes for the when, how, what, and who—all adding to the level of uncertainty. The analyses show that the family members need more fixed patterns for the communication, more continuity in terms of who they speak to, and that they wish that the communication be conducted in a way that is true, right, and truthful.

TidsskriftINQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing
Sider (fra-til)1-9
StatusUdgivet - 25 nov. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa

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