Previous studies have shown the benefits of family
presence during resuscitation (FPDR) for the
patients and their family members.
A study from St. Barnabas Hospital (SBH Health System Bronx) analyzed
the perceptions and attitudes of the health care team about family
presence during resuscitation. These attitudes varied among the
staff roles and locations in the hospital.
‘The perceptions and attitudes of the health care team about family presence during resuscitation varied among the staff roles and locations in the hospital.’
Of the 195 randomly selected physicians, respiratory therapists,
nurses and resident trainee physicians, only 36.9% were in favor
of FPDR. Attending physicians were the most comfortable with FPDR at 47% while respiratory therapists were the least comfortable at only
The results also varied based on their practice location;
staff working in the intensive care unit (48%) and in the
emergency department (51%) was more amenable to the practice of
FPDR, compared with only 24% approval on the general medical
This study demonstrated that health
care staff had serious reservations about FPDR, with 85%
reporting that it would likely increase their own stress and anxiety
Many also expressed concerns that family members could
potentially interfere with the resuscitation efforts, suffer serious
emotional trauma, or be more likely to pursue litigation. Despite these
misgivings, 55% of the staff agreed that family members should be
given the option to witness CPR.
"We found that staff working in the ICU and emergency department,
where the need for CPR is most common, felt more comfortable with the
practice of FPDR," says Dr. Alvaro Martin, lead researcher. "We also
found overall lack of knowledge about the place of FPDR in daily
clinical practice and institutional policies in this regard. We believe
that structured education could have a positive influence on perceptions
and attitudes towards FPDR."
abstract can be viewed on the website of the journal CHEST