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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Clinical Management of Intensive Care Unit

Talking About: self-determination and intensive care: A Qualitative Study of Patient Experiences Development of DIPEx module: CMI

Experiencing a stay on intensive care unit (ICU) is not only challenging but associated with a complex process of decision making. For patients to experience ICU is often life changing. One must always be aware that ICU is perceived individually and might as well differ between critical ill patients. So how are the individual perceptions of a patient during critical illness? Thinking about the importance of self-determination in a situation of helplessness? Intensive care experiences include in addition to helplessness pain, nightmares and often hallucinations. In this study we aim to present how patients experience their time on the intensive care unit and how they have handled this experience. Constructing the interviews, we will aim the focus on self-determination.

It is important for physicians, therapists and caregivers to know about the experiences and after-effects. This knowledge will be helpful in assisting future decision-making processes and for students and scientists to understand the patients’ perspective on intensive care.

Aims of the study and the module of Swiss DIPEx database are:

  • to develop a comprehensive understanding of patients’ experiences on intensive care;
  • to focus on self-determination and the possibility of loss in critical ill patients;
  • to make these experiences accessible to other people /family/proxies who had or will have the experiences of intensive care by using the online platform.

Collaborating Institutes

Involved DIPEx Researchers