An integrative review of supports, facilitators and barriers to patient-centred nursing in the intensive care unit

Samantha Jakimowicz, Lin Perry, Joanne Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives
To systematically review the literature describing factors perceived by nurses as impacting the provision of patient-centred nursing in the intensive care unit.

Patient-centred nursing in critical care differs from other healthcare areas, and the aggressive curative environment of the ICU has potential to compromise some of its elements. Understanding critical care, nurses’ perceptions of promoting and deterrent factors may inform development of strategies to support effective patient-centred nursing and job satisfaction in this workforce.

An integrative literature review.

Review method
Whittemore and Knafl's method was used with “best-fit” framework synthesis. CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline and EMBASE were searched for 2000–2016 literature using search terms drawn from the ICU patient-centred framework.

In total, 3,079 papers were identified, with 23 retained after applying eligibility criteria. Five themes were identified: Nurse identity; Organisation; Communication; Relationships; and Ideology of ICU. Almost every theme and related categories referred to factors acting as barriers to patient-centred nursing in the ICU; only four referred to supports/facilitators. Findings showed that provision of patient-centred nursing may be compromised by some factors of the critical care environment, and illustrate the challenges and complexity of providing effective patient-centred nursing in this environment.

Findings should be applied to address barriers and to enhance facilitators of effective patient-centred nursing in critical care. The emotional and physical demands of critical care nursing are major considerations; supporting these nurses to fulfil their challenging role may empower them in their professional quality of life and provide a basis for workforce retention as well as delivery of effective patient-centred nursing.

Relevance to clinical practice
Measures to enhance patient-centred nursing could promote critical care nurses’ job satisfaction and workforce retention, and be applied more broadly and collaboratively to promote multidisciplinary patient-centred care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4153-4171
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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