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This phenomenological study aimed to describe meanings of experiences of family members of critically ill patients who received responses to their spiritual needs in a medical intensive care unit (MICU) of a university hospital, South of Thailand. Twelve informants who had been direct inherited family members of critically ill patients, who had admitted in MICU at least 3 days, were recruited by using purposive sampling method. The data were collected by using in-depth individual interview with tape-record. Tape-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed by using Van Manen’s approach.
The findings indicated that meanings of the experiences of family members of critically ill patients who received spiritual needs’ responses included; 1) beliefs and religion were spiritual, 2) receiving respect on their beliefs and kindly support in their performances, 3) having no idea and need suggestion, 4) having mental refuge, and 5) nurses’ personality that can enhance their expressions on spiritual needs.
This study can be implied that the informants had satisfaction on the responses to their spiritual needs in a MICU. Therefore, the MICU can use the findings as an evidence-based of an achievement in developing nursing activities to response to the spiritual needs of critically ill patients’ family members. In addition, nurses can implicate the meanings of the experiences under this study for suggestions to improve and develop their caring regarding to spiritual dimension in intensive care units continuously.