Purpose To investigate cardiovascular nurses' experiences of and attitudes towards the presence of family members during resuscitation of adult patients. Methods A 36-item questionnaire exploring the experiences of and attitudes towards family members being present in the resuscitation room was distributed to a convenience sample of nurses attending three national and one international cardiovascular nursing conferences held in Europe during 2007. Results Of 820 questionnaires distributed, 411(50%) completed ones were returned. Of these 411 respondents, 178 (44%) had experienced at least one situation of families being present. Positive (23%) and negative (21%) experiences of family presence were equally distributed. Only 28 (7%) respondents stated that their unit had a protocol covering family presence. Nurses in Ireland (n = 30; 59%) and the UK (n = 18; 55%) were most likely to have experienced family presence and protocols relating to this were most commonly found in the UK (n = 4; 14%). Conclusion Less than half of the included European cardiovascular nurses had experienced a situation of families being present during resuscitation and protocols pertaining to this were rare. There was no clear attitude towards family presence, though experience in nursing made nurses more favourable towards it.
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Family presence
- Family witnessed resuscitation
- Cardiovascular nurses