Sources of hope: Perception of Iranian family members of patients in the Intensive Care Unit

Mina Gaeeni, Mansoureh Farahani, Nooredin Mohammadi, Naima Seyedfatemi

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is recognized as a situation with emotional strain, uncertainty, and fear of losing the patient. In such stressful situations, it is hope that can promote psychological stability in the patient's family members. Related literature revealed that sources of hope in this situation have still not been discussed well in studies. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the sources of hope from the perspective of families of ICU patients in Iran. Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study that was carried out adopting the conventional qualitative content analysis approach, 19 family members of 13 patients hospitalized in the ICU from three teaching hospitals were selected, through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using conventional content analysis, through the process of data reduction and condensation, coding, and also generating categories and subcategories. Results: Analysis of the data revealed sources of hope in families of ICU patients. These sources appeared as two main categories- internal sources and external sources. The internal sources had two subcategories consisting of 'religious-spirituality beliefs' and 'positive attitude'. The external sources had four subcategories consisting of healthcare professionals' interactions, empathy of families and friends, patient's condition, and participation in care. Conclusions: The results of this study showed the sources of hope in the families of the patients in the ICU. These sources, as moderating factors, could reduce physical and psychological damages caused to the families. In the present study, the categorizations of the participants' in-depth experience could develop a new horizon for healthcare professionals, especially nurses, on the sources of hope, based on culture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)635-642
    Number of pages8
    JournalIranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • Family
    • Intensive Care Unit
    • Iran
    • Nurses
    • Qualitative study
    • Sources of hope


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