Emotional Responses of Family Members of a Critically Ill Patient: A Hermeneutic Analysis
Dr. Johansson I, PhD
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden
This study used an exploratory design with a hermeneutic approach. The aim was to increase the understanding of the emotional responses of family members during the patient's critical care. Interviews from the main researcher's previous study about relatives of patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) were used. Two of these interviews were chosen, one with the mother and one with the father of an adult young patient, who became critically ill and admitted to a general ICU in south-west Sweden. The present study identified six feelings describing the emotional responses of the family members. The family members experienced feelings of uncertainty, feelings of abandonment, feelings of desertion from the loved one, feelings of being close to the deathbed, feelings of being in a no-man's-land and feelings of attachment. The experienced feelings described in this article can contribute to expanding healthcare professionals understanding of the family members' emotional responses during the patient's critical care.