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Family satisfaction in the trauma and surgical intensive care unit: another important quality measure
  1. Tom Maxim,
  2. Agustin Alvarez,
  3. Yvonne Hojberg,
  4. Derek Antoku,
  5. Chioma Moneme,
  6. Andrew Singleton,
  7. Caroline Park,
  8. Kazuhide Matsushima
  1. Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kazuhide Matsushima, Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA; kazuhide.matsushima{at}


Background A growing body of research has explored patient satisfaction as one of the healthcare quality measures. To date, scarce data are available regarding family experience in the trauma and surgical intensive care unit (TSICU). The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze the results of a family satisfaction survey in the TSICU.

Methods Family members of patients at a level 1 trauma center were invited to participate in this study after 72 hours of intensive care unit stay. Participants completed a modified version of the Family Satisfaction in the Intensive Care Unit questionnaire, a validated survey measuring family satisfaction with care and decision-making. Data collection spanned from April 2016 to July 2017. Patient characteristics were compiled from the medical record. Quantitative analysis was performed using a 5-point Likert score, converted to a scale of 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent).

Results The overall response rate was 78.6%. Of the 103 family members for 88 patients, most were young (median age: 41 years) and female (75%). Language fluency was 44.6% English-only, 31.7% Spanish-only, and 23.8% bilingual. Mean summary family satisfaction scores (±SD) were 80.6±26.4 for satisfaction with care, 79.3±27.1 for satisfaction with decision-making, and 80.1±26.7 for total satisfaction. Respondents were less satisfied with the frequency of communication with physicians (70.7±27.4) and language translation (73.2±31.2).

Discussion Overall family satisfaction with the care provided to patients in the TSICU is high, although opportunities for improvement were noted in the frequency of communication between physicians and family and language translation services. Further quality improvement projects are warranted.

Level of evidence Care management study: level V.

  • satisfaction
  • trauma survey
  • family
  • icu

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  • Presented at This article was presented at the 13th Annual Academic Surgical Congress in Jacksonville, Florida, January 31, 2018.

  • Contributors Study concept and design: TM, AA, YH, DA, CM, AS, CP, KM. Data collection and analysis: TM, KM, AA, YH, DA. Article writing: TM, CP, KM. Critical revision: AA, YH, DA, CM, AS.

  • 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 None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The Institutional Review Board at the University of Southern California granted approval for all activities performed in this study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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