Family and patient perception of physiotherapy care rendered to patients in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit
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Background: Physiotherapists are involved in the management of patients in the cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Patient and family perception of care has become an important measure in evaluating the quality of care, including care in the intensive care setting. Overall Aim: To explore and describe the family and patient perception of physiotherapy care rendered in a public sector cardiothoracic ICU in the Western Cape, South Africa. Method: This study was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 (scoping review) identified and described available outcomes for measuring family perception of ICU care by searching six databases from inception to the 20th June 2018. Results from the scoping review informed the discussion schedule for the first primary study of Phase 2. Phase 2 (two exploratory descriptive qualitative primary studies) explored and described i) family perception and ii) patient perception of physiotherapy care in a cardiothoracic ICU. Audio-taped, individual face to face semi-structured interviews were conducted with family and patient participants that met the inclusion and exclusion sampling criteria (purposive sampling). Data was transcribed verbatim and analysed using deductive-inductive thematic content analysis. The data was coded, categorised and themes were generated. Trustworthiness of the data was ensured through methods addressing credibility, dependability, confirmability and transferability. Results: A total of ten full text studies were included in the scoping review. Included studies were published between 2006 and 2017, were conducted in both developed and developing countries, in different ICUs (except cardiothoracic ICU)and all used different quantitative outcome measures to measure family perception of ICU care. Thirteen cardiothoracic ICU patients and their respective family members partook in the studies describing patient and family perception of cardiothoracic ICU physiotherapy care. The median patient age was 62 years; the mean ICU length of stay 6 days and the median family age was 55. Themes arising from the family perception of care data analysed included: i) understanding of physiotherapy care (the role of the physiotherapist, perceived benefit of physiotherapy and communication), family involvement in physiotherapy care (physical presence during physiotherapy sessions and decision-making), and satisfaction of physiotherapy ICU care. Themes arising from patient perception of care data analysed included: i) Physiotherapy management of patients, ii) The Physiotherapists – skill, iii) knowledge and professionalism, iv) Continuity of Care, v) Tangibility, vi) Physiotherapy benefits, vii) Decision-Making, viii) Communication, ix) Satisfaction of Physiotherapy ICU care. Overall, family and patients were satisfied with the physiotherapy care in the cardiothoracic ICU. However, there were areas of improvement such as the understanding of physiotherapy care, communication, family involvement in the physiotherapy care and decision-making. Conclusion: While there are multiple quantitative measures for measuring family perception of ICU care there is no “gold” standard measure that has been identified. A qualitative measure and research design would allow richer in-depth information on family perception of ICU care. The findings from the family and patient perception of cardiothoracic ICU physiotherapy care are influenced by many factors. While family and patients perceive cardiothoracic ICU physiotherapy care both positively and negatively, the majority of patient and family were satisfied overall with the care the patient received. Family perception of ICU physiotherapy care should be evaluated in order to identify areas for improvement in quality of care and could add to the body of evidence in ICU physiotherapy practice.