Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing Dissertations



Publication Date


Document Type

Dissertation, Doctoral


Graduate School of Nursing

Dissertation Committee Chair

Susan Sullivan Bolyai


Calgary Family Assessment Model/Calgary Family Intervention Model, Critical Illness, Family Nursing, Patterson’s Family Adjustment and Adaptation Model, Post-Intensive Care Syndrome, Therapeutic Conversations

Subject Categories



PURPOSE: The purpose of this feasibility study was to explore the use of a nurse-centered intervention, the Critical Caring Program, with family members of critically ill adults. The intervention was a series of therapeutic conversations with a family member, beginning in the ICU and following patient discharge from the ICU.

FRAMEWORK: The Family Adjustment and Adaptation Response Model (Patterson, 1988) provided the conceptual framework; the intervention was adapted from the Calgary Family Assessment and Intervention Model.

DESIGN: A randomized, controlled design with two groups (usual care and intervention) was used to assess the feasibility of the intervention. A convenience sample of 19 adult family members were recruited from an 18-bed ICU from October 2021–January 2022.

RESULTS: 151 family members were screened for participation; 40 who were eligible and 19 were enrolled. Overall retention was 58% for the intervention group; 62% for the usual care group. Outcomes revealed no statistically significant differences between groups or changes within groups. The nurses viewed the training and conversations as positive but identified incorporating the visits into routine practice as challenging.

CONCLUSION: The Calgary Family Intervention Model is a useful model for addressing families’ need for communication and support. Additional research is needed on incorporating therapeutic conversations into critical care nursing practice.



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Available for download on Thursday, January 19, 2023

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