Psychosocial issues in acute care| Volume 38, ISSUE 3, P208-216, May 2009

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Basic needs and their predictors for intubated patients in surgical intensive care units

Published:September 16, 2008DOI:


      This study was conducted to investigate the basic needs and communication difficulties of intubated patients in surgical intensive care units (ICUs) and to identify predictors of the basic needs from the patient characteristics and communication difficulties.


      In this descriptive correlational study, 80 surgical ICU patients were recruited and interviewed using 3 structured questionnaires: demographic information, scale of basic needs, and scale of communication difficulties.


      The intubated patients were found to have moderate communication difficulties. The sense of being loved and belonging was the most common need in the intubated patients studied (56.00 standardized scores). A significantly positive correlation was found between communication difficulties and general level of basic needs (r = .53, P < .01), and another positive correlation was found between the length of stay in ICUs and the need for love and belonging (r = .25, P < .05). The basic needs of intubated patients could be significantly predicted by communication difficulties (P = .002), use of physical restraints (P = .010), lack of intubation history (P = .005), and lower educational level (P = .005). These 4 predictors accounted for 47% of the total variance in basic needs.


      The intubated patients in surgical ICUs had moderate basic needs and communication difficulties. The fact that the basic needs could be predicted by communication difficulties, physical restraints, and educational level suggests that nurses in surgical ICUs need to improve skills of communication and limit the use of physical restraints, especially in patients with a lower educational level.
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