Lynn Kuechle

Family Anxiety 

3 posts in this topic

“A heightened state of uneasiness to a potential nonspecific threat that is inconsistent with the expected event…” (Bay and Algase, 1999). Impending change resulting in feelings such as uneasiness, fear, or worry resulting from a danger or threat being sensed. Anxiety can manifest as a wide range of symptoms with unique nature in family members and impacting family unit processes, depending on the person, stressors and family involved. Ask family members their perceptions of threats.


The context is the health and illness experiences of family life. The perception of threat can be the family member and or family unit.



Discuss actual and perceived threat with caution about minimizing threats

Provide open, honest, clear and direct information

Invite family questions and repeat information as often as needed

Arrange and guide family communication

Plan and guide family meetings

Encourage family discussions about conflicts, differences, and issues

Use family commendations  (Wright & Leahey, 2013)

Be diligent in sharing consistent information

Help family identify networks and resources that could provide support

Nurse Presence-Stay close to patient and family while listening and sharing information and providing care (Gardner, 1985)

Reassure family members(s) about the quality of nursing care and nursing concern for family and individual with an illness

Provide honest and realistic information

Teach family the necessary information to understand

Teach family management strategies

Explain how family can assume advocacy role

Encourage family dialogue about concerns and needs

Use “one question question” technique to elicit family concerns (Wright & Leahey, 2013)

Initiate family interaction and relationship

Develop therapeutic conversation with family members and family unit (Svavarsdottir,Tryggvadottir, & Sigurdardottir, 2012; Sveinbjarnardottir, Svavarsdottir, & Wright, 2013; Svavarsdottir, Sigurdardottir,  & Tryggvadottir, 2014; Wright & Bell, 2009; Wright & Leahey, 2013)


Bay & Algase, 1999; McAdam, Fontaine, White, Dracup,& Puntillo, 2012; Mitchell,  Courtney, & Coyer, 2003; Mohr & Schneider, 2013; Thome, & Arnardottir, 2013


No additional notes at this time

Edited by Lynn Kuechle

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