Assessing Family Members' Satisfaction with Information Sharing and Communication during Hospital Care at the End of Life
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CONTEXT: Despite the fact that most deaths occur in hospital, problems remain with how patients and families experience care at the end of life when a death occurs in a hospital. OBJECTIVES: (1) assess family member satisfaction with information sharing and communication, and (2) examine how satisfaction with information sharing and communication is associated with patient factors. METHODS: Using a cross-sectional survey, data were collected from family members of adult patients who died in an acute care organization. Correlation and factor analysis were conducted, and internal consistency assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Linear regression was performed to determine the relationship among patient variables and satisfaction on the Information Sharing and Communication (ISC) scale. RESULTS: There were 529 questionnaires available for analysis. Following correlation analysis and the dropping of redundant and conceptually irrelevant items, seven items remained for factor analysis. One factor was identified, described as information sharing and communication, that explained 76.3% of the variance. The questionnaire demonstrated good content and reliability (Cronbach's alpha 0.96). Overall, family members were satisfied with information sharing and communication (mean total satisfaction score 3.9, SD 1.1). The ISC total score was significantly associated with patient gender, the number of days in hospital before death, and the hospital program where the patient died. CONCLUSIONS: The ISC scale demonstrated good content validity and reliability. The ISC scale offers acute care organizations a means to assess the quality of information sharing and communication that transpires in care at the end of life.
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