National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, Vol. I, pp 182-207


Copyright 2016 by the author.


Family-centered care is an evolving process between patients, families, and health care providers. The family centered care model emphasizes the strength families bring to the healing process. The research project was a quasi-experimental pre-and post-test study with a communication intervention phase. The study was conducted in a Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) in a university affiliated hospital in the Southeast with restricted visitation hours. The purpose of this IRB-approved study was to measure the nurses’ perceptions of communication involvement with family members before and after the intervention phase. Approximately 50% of eligible participants responded. The communication intervention phase consisted of assisting the family advocate waiting room attendant by distributing educational pamphlets to family members, along with providing the nurses with education on the availability of patient discharge information folders. There was a significant statistical change (p>.01) that family members received higher level of clearer and more complete explanations provided to them by the nurse about their family member’s medical condition. This implied that by educating the nurses on availability and resources of patient education the nurses begin to perceive communication to be more effective. The study laid a foundation for increasing flexibility of the visiting policies.