Intensive care units (ICU) of hospitals are characteristically stressful environments with high turnover of personnel. Support groups to help nurses deal with the stresses of the ICU environment have been widely recommended as a means to raise morale and increase communication, but are infrequently reported. Data on these groups are fragmentary. A review of the literature and correspondence with the authors of published papers demonstrated that most nurse support groups are open-ended groups with open membership, usually meeting for an hour a week, occasionally attended by nursing supervisors and unit physicians, and usually conducted by a liaison psychiatrist or a psychiatric consultant. Such groups are reported as positive experiences by nurses and group leaders. The small amount of available objective evidence of the impact of support groups is positive; further research is required to arrive at a more definitive evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health