Factors Affecting Psychological Distress of Family Caregivers of Critically Ill Patients: A Qualitative Study

Author(s): Amanda C. Blok, PhD, MSN, RN, PHCNS-BC, Thomas S. Valley, MD, MSc, Lauren E. Weston, MPH, Jacquelyn Miller, MA, Kyra Lipman, BS, and Sarah L. Krein, PhD, RN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Jan 01, 2025

Topics: Family-Centered Care

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Family caregivers—individuals who support the patient—play a central role in critical care survivorship, helping with health management and service utilization. However, experiencing a critical care hospitalization can cause psychological distress in family caregivers. These psychological symptoms may impact a caregiver’s ability to engage with the clinical team, as well as their long-term psychological health and ability to help manage a patient’s condition after hospital discharge. Broadening our understanding of factors influencing the development of caregiver psychological distress may lead to greater insight for addressing these factors and developing effective interventions. This study interviewed 40 family members of patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) to understand their experiences with ICU care.


  • Gain an understanding of the psychological distress among family caregivers during a critical care hospitalization
  • Evaluate contributors to psychological distress among family caregivers
  • Identify potentially modifiable factors that could mitigate psychological distress among family caregivers

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

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