Longitudinal Associations Among Symptoms of Family Intensive Care Unit Syndrome

Author(s): By Grant A. Pignatiello, PhD, RN, Stephanie Griggs, PhD, RN, Elliane Irani, PhD, MBE, RN, Seth Alan Hoffer, MD, and Ronald L. Hickman Jr, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Jul 01, 2026

Topics: Behavioral/Psychosocial

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

A significant proportion of surrogate decision makers (SDMs) for the critically ill exhibit symptoms of family intensive care unit syndrome (FICUS), a dysregulated state including debilitating emotional distress (anxiety and depression), poor sleep health (sleep disturbance), and susceptibility to biased decision-making (decision fatigue). Ultimately, FICUS symptoms leave SDMs feeling less prepared and confident in their role, possibly increasing their risk of developing chronic psychiatric morbidity and the patient’s risk of receiving value-discordant care. Therefore, mitigating symptoms of FICUS may yield substantial benefits for critically ill patients and their SDMs.


  • Describe family intensive care unit syndrome.
  • Identify the symptoms of family intensive care unit syndrome.
  • Explain the clinical implications of the study findings.

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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