Better communications, better outcomes

Dr Nancy Kentish-Barnes

Communication is at the heart of family members’ experience. Communication must not be restrained to information-giving but includes both verbal and non-verbal components, the capacity to listen and to respect silences. Family members are very sensitive to caregivers’ ways of communicating and unsatisfactory communication has been shown to be a risk factor for developing post-ICU burden. Improving communication in the ICU is a priority that will benefit both the team and the patients as well as their family members.