The Impact of a Family- Centered Support Program on the Anxiety Level of the Families of Patients Hospitalized in Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Chairperson

Kerry Milner

Committee Member

JoAnne Gatti-Petito

Committee Member

Kiran Dintyala


Background: Admission of a loved one to the intensive care unit (ICU) is an anxiety inducing event for most family members. High anxiety levels in these family members can negatively impact patient outcomes. Use of the Family Centered Support Program (FCSP) has been shown to decrease anxiety levels of family members of patients in the ICU. The purpose of this study was to implement FCSP in a New York City cardiothoracic ICU and measure pre and post anxiety levels of participating family members. Methods: A one group quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test design was used. Family members were asked to complete the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), which measures situational anxiety (state) and usual anxiety levels (trait), before and after implementation of the FCSP. Mean STAI levels pre- and post-FCSP were compared using t-tests. Racial and gender differences in STAI levels were also analyzed using chi-square test.


A practice dissertation presented to the faculty of the College of Nursing, Sacred Heart University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.