Introduction: Patients and patients' families are in crisis when the patient is in the Intensive Care Unit. There have been studies demonstrating the importance of recognizing patient and family needs, and meeting those needs. This study explored what needs families rank as important and if the nurse met their needs, and what effect nurse empathy had on meeting family needs. Methods: Families in the Intensive Care Unit were given questionnaires to complete that addressed which needs they felt were important, if their needs were met, and the level of empathy they gauged their nurse to have. The tools utilized in this study included the Critical Care Family Needs Intervention (CCFNI), the Needs Met Inventory (NMI), and the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory. Results: A total of fifteen families participated in this study. There was no correlation between the empathy of the nurse and their ability to meet family needs. There was a negative correlation between the CCFNI, and the NMI. Conclusions: This study validated the need for assurance as one of the most important family needs. More studies should be performed to see the effect, if any, empathy has on the nurse's ability to identify and care for a family's needs.


Sue Ellen Bell

Committee Member

Kelly Krumwiede

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



Rights Statement

In Copyright