<imgsrc=”” border=”0″ align=”left” alt=”image”>Objective:
The objective of this review was to identify and understand the primary research investigating the family support role in hospital rapid response teams.
Individual studies have described the benefits of providing emotional and psychosocial support to family members of a person receiving emergency medical care from a rapid response team in a hospital setting. To the authors’ knowledge, there are no studies that have identified and described these studies together.
All empirical qualitative and quantitative papers investigating a family support role delivered in a rapid response team in a hospital setting were included.
This review followed a published a priori protocol. The databases searched were MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCO), Cochrane Library, and OpenGrey. The search strategy was not limited by publication date or by language. The title and abstract of all citations were reviewed by two authors independently to assess against the inclusion criteria. The full text of the studies meeting the inclusion criteria were retrieved and reviewed by two authors independently. Data from eligible studies were extracted by two authors separately using a predetermined data extraction form and summarized in tabular and narrative format.
After a full-text review of 110 studies, six studies met all inclusion criteria. The studies were set in four countries. All rapid response teams were set in hospital locations. Charted data demonstrated that the family support role had been investigated predominantly by qualitative study designs from the perspective of staff delivering the support. One study reported health outcomes of family members who received family support. In all studies, the family support role was part of a resuscitation rapid response team. Family support was provided at all stages of the resuscitation procedure. The family support role was not consistently defined, with the activities of the family support person reported differently between studies. Twenty-five varying support activities were described, such as attending to the family members’comfort needs, explaining the process of resuscitation, and providing guidance to the family member. In all studies, the family support role was available to support the family witnessing the resuscitation. The family support role was delivered by professionals from varying disciplines, including social workers, nurses, health care workers, and health care chaplains.
Family support roles are varied and are carried out by health professionals of diverse backgrounds, highlighting the importance of considering the support and training needs of the person performing the role. Future research using evaluation methods is recommended to deepen the understanding about the family support role in hospital-based rapid response teams.