Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Linda A. Lewandowski


Despite decades of compelling evidence regarding patient and family interest to be with loved ones or the lack of detrimental effects from being together, some nurses are not convinced of the merits of family presence (FP). Implementation of family presence in adult ICUs remains controversial for nurses. The feelings of many nurses, who are gate keepers related to patient visitation, continue to influence restrictions and/or inconsistent visiting practices for patients and families. Some hospitals have begun to permit relatives to be present during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of adult loved ones, yet the availability of unrestricted access beyond official ICU visiting hours for families continues to vary from one institution to another, one department to another within the same institution and even from one nurse to another within the same patient care unit. Because nurses are the epicenter of much of what goes on with patient care throughout the hospital in general and in particular, in intensive care units, it is important to understand how nurse beliefs and attitudes influence associated behaviors. This study examined relations between underlying beliefs and background factors through investigation and statistical analyses of the impact of nurse beliefs and influencing variables on unrestricted FP decisions that are made by ICU nurses. Guided by the TPB, findings revealed that beliefs are instrumental to attitudes and background factors are influential. Most importantly the study identified nurse perceptions regarding the impact of FP related to quality of care and patient safety.

Included in

Nursing Commons