Family Engagement Regarding the Critically Ill Patient

Jessica L. Weaver, Ciarán T. Bradley, Karen J. Brasel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Institute of Medicine strongly recommends a health care system that supports family members. Nowhere is the need for family-centered care greater than with critically ill patients. Simplistically, family-centered care is primarily about communication. Unfortunately, family perception of communication in the intensive care unit (ICU) is quite poor. This article reviews some strategies to improve communication, including family meetings and family presence at resuscitation. It also highlights some of the areas within the realm of ICU care in which family engagement is particularly important, including advance directives, end-of-life care, brain death, and organ donation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1637-1647
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical Clinics of North America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Critically ill patients
  • End-of-life care
  • Family-centered care
  • Intensive care unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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