Attitudes of Emergency Care Providers Towards Family Presence During Resuscitation

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan-Sims Giddens


This descriptive, correlational study was conducted in eight hospital emergency departments and three hospital owned ambulance services located with in a 50-mile radius of the sponsoring institution. The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of emergency care providers toward family presence during resuscitation and to determine if gender, job class, primary work environment, employer, or prior experience with the practice affected those attitudes. A total of 890 surveys were distributed, 32.5% (n=289) of the returned surveys met inclusion criteria. Respondents ranged in age from 20-65 with a mean of 40.20 years. Most of the respondents, 57.8% were female while 42.8% were male. A majority of the respondents, 70.2%, worked in hospital emergency departments with 29.8% working in the prehospital environment. A majority of the respondents, 76.1%, believed that family have the right to be present, 78.5% believed that families should be allowed to be present, and 75.8% believed that being present has benefits for the family. Ninety percent of the respondents had been involved in resuscitation with family present. Most of these, 81.9%, believed that the families had acted in an appropriate manner and 75.7% believed that the experience was beneficial for the family member involved. A Family Presence Support Score was determined by summing the responses to items 9-14 on the Family Presence Survey. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean Family Presence Support Score of the respondents based on gender, primary work environment, job classification, level of education, or primary place of employment. The study did reveal a statistically significant difference between those who had been previously involved in resuscitation with family with family present when compared to those who had not.


family presence, resuscitation, CPR, emergency department, attitudes

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© Jerry W. Dorris