HomeWVSU Research Journalvol. 10 no. 1 (2021)

Effects of Liberal Visitation on Anxiety, Satisfaction, and Length of Stay Among Intensive Care Unit Patients

Lito Pari-an Rama | Rita Ramos

Discipline: Medicine



Several organizations recommended liberalization of ICU visits; however, the majority of the ICUs maintained restrictive visitation causing further lower social support to critically ill patients. The objective of the study is to determine the effects of Patient-Centered Liberal Visitation in the patients’ level of anxiety, satisfaction, and ICU length of stay. The study used a quasi- experimental, non-equivalent control group before-after design. It was conducted in an ICU in North America for a 5-month period using validated instruments. The study utilized consecutive sampling, 30 patients for the control and 30 for the intervention group. The control group had restricted visitation, wherein ICU visits were limited to specific hours per day. Patient- centered liberal visitation based on Levine’s Conservation Principles was implemented on the intervention group where visitations in ICU were more flexible. The study was approved by the Ethical Review Board. Sixty participants were included in the study with no significant difference when control and intervention group were clustered according to age (t=0.591, p=0.557), gender (X2= 0.069, p=0.793), marital status (X2= 5.524, p=0.137) and ethnicity (X2= 1.024, p=0.795). A significant difference within the intervention group’s pre-test and post-test Faces Anxiety Scale (FAS) Score (t=4.287, p=0.000) was noted. Similarly, the study found significant difference within the intervention group’s pre-test and post-test overall 6-item State Anxiety Inventory (SAI) Score (t=4.774, p=0.000). Pre-test anxiety scores in the intervention group were higher compared to post-test anxiety scores. Furthermore, a significant difference (t=3.831, p=0.000) was noted on patient satisfaction. The result showed higher patient satisfaction among the participants in the intervention group (4.73, SD 0.521) compared to the control group (3.97, SD 0.964). Lastly, when measuring the participants’ length of stay, no significant difference (t=-0.397, p=0.693) was noted. Patient-centered liberal visitation in the ICU decreases the patients level of anxiety and improves patient satisfaction. However, liberal visitation does not have a significant effect on the patients’ ICU length of stay.