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Interventions to promote patients and families' involvement in adult intensive care settings: A protocol for a mixed-method systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Andreas Xyrichis, Simon Fletcher, Sally Brearley, Julia Philippou, Ed Purssell, Marius Terblanche, Anne Marie Rafferty, Scott Reeves

Original languageEnglish
Article number185
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Published25 Jul 2019

King's Authors


Background: There has been an identified need for greater patient and family member involvement in healthcare. This is particularly relevant in an intensive care unit (ICU), as the family provides a key communicative and practical link between patient and clinician. Family members have been deemed a positive beneficial influence on ICU care and recovery processes, yet they themselves are often emotionally affected after discharge. There has been no standardised evidenced-based approach which explores research on family member involvement and the range and quality of contributions remain unclear. This project will undertake a systematic review to assess the evidence base for interventions designed to promote patient and family member involvement in adult intensive care settings and develop a comprehensive typology of interventions for use by clinicians, patients and carers. Methods: The following databases will be searched without date restriction: MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL, as well as the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Joanna Briggs and Cochrane Libraries. Manual searches of recent back issues of leading ICU and patient experience journals will also be undertaken, as will the reference lists of included studies. Unpublished literature will be sought through grey literature databases, including GreyLit and OpenGrey. All evaluation studies that consider intervention activities to promote patient and family member involvement in adult ICUs will be included; all research designs will be eligible. We will seek to include studies that report on a mixture of relevant outcomes for patients and family members. Abstracts and papers will be independently screened by at least two members of the team to determine their inclusion. Included papers will be assessed for methodological rigour using a standard rating approach, which assesses 'quality of study' and 'quality of information'. Quality assessment will be completed by at least two members of the team. Data on interventions, evaluation methods and outcomes will be collated using a predetermined extraction table. These are likely to be heterogeneous in nature, which will mean that the review will follow a narrative approach to synthesis. Discussion: The review will provide valuable and rigorous insight into the range and quality of interventions available to promote patient and family member involvement in ICU. This is the first step towards addressing the absence of a synthesis of research for this context, and will, in addition, develop a typology of available interventions that will help service users and clinicians make informed decisions about the approaches to patient and family member involvement which they might want to adopt. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO (CRD42018086325).

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