Using Research to Determine Support for a Policy on Family Presence During Resuscitation

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009


National guidelines and professional organizations have recommended allowing family presence during resuscitation and bedside invasive procedures. Studies found that only 5% of critical care units have written policies. Periodic requests by family members prompted the creation of a task force, including nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists, to develop this controversial policy. Before development, a research study of healthcare personnel attitudes, concerns, and beliefs toward family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and bedside invasive procedures was done. This descriptive and correlational study showed support for family presence by critical care and emergency department nurses. Findings revealed both support and non-support for families to be present during resuscitative efforts. Providing family presence as an option offers an opportunity for reluctant healthcare team members to refuse their presence and an opportunity for those who support family presence to welcome the family