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, 2026

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, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 1.00 contact hours.

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