Intensive Care Experiences of Patients in Medical ICU: a Mixed-Method Study

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Monthira Udchumpisai
Napaporn Peerakavee


This mixed-method study aimed to study the level and characteristics of intensive care experiences of patients in the medical ICU. Timing It Right (TIR) was employed as a conceptual framework. Seventy participants, who met the inclusion criteria, were enrolled in the study. Data collection involved questionnaires inquiring about the patients’ personal information and intensive care experiences (four dimensions—awareness of surroundings, frightening experiences, experience recall, and satisfaction with care) as well as interviews with open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics were used to analyses the quantitative data and content analyses were used to scrutinize qualitative information. Then, interpretation together both the data with the aim of describing the phenomena related to the experiences of medical ICU patients.

The findings revealed that 97.1% of the participants perceived intensive care experiences having a high awareness level of their surroundings (mean 37.4; SD 4.3), they always knew what was happening and felt safe with being in ICU were the most mentioned. Meanwhile, the intensive care experiences regarding the frightening experiences dimension were found to be of a low level (mean 12.5; SD 4.6), the patients tended to feel helpless and think they would die were the largest number. Concerning recall of experience, a high-level perception score was found among 58.6% of the participants (mean 15.8; SD 4.7), most patients remembered a lot of their ICU experiences and knew whether it was day or night. Finally, a high satisfaction level with care was reported by 85.7% of the participants (mean 16.1; SD 2.9), the most they perceived the care in ICU was as good as it could have been, and that it was not noisy. 

The results of this study could guide the healthcare team in improving the clinical practice guidelines related to caring for critically-ill patients with the aims of ensuring the provision of holistic care, supporting family engagement, and improving the satisfaction with care of medical ICU patients.


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Udchumpisai, M., & Peerakavee, N. (2020). Intensive Care Experiences of Patients in Medical ICU: a Mixed-Method Study. Vajira Nursing Journal, 22(2), 71–90. Retrieved from
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