Development of the Support Needs After ICU (SNAC) questionnaire

Brenda O'Neill, Mark Linden, Pam Ramsay, Alia Darwish Medniuk, Joanne Outtrim, Judy King, Bronagh Blackwood

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Aims: To develop a questionnaire to identify Intensive Care survivor needs at key transitions during the recovery process, and assess its validity and reliability in a group of ICU survivors.
Methods: Development of the Support Needs After ICU (SNAC) questionnaire was based on a systematic scoping review, and analysis of patient interviews (n = 22). Face and content validity were assessed by service users (n = 12) and an expert panel of healthcare professionals (n = 6). A pilot survey among 200 ICU survivors assessed recruitment at one of five different stages after ICU discharge [(1) in hospital, (2) < 6 weeks, (3) 7 weeks to 6 months, (4) 7 to 12 months, or (5) 12 to 24 months post-hospital discharge]; to assess reliability of the SNAC questionnaire; and to conduct exploratory data analysis. Reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency; intraclass correlation coefficients for test–retest reliability. We explored correlations with sociodemographic variables using Pearson's correlation coefficient; differences between questionnaire scores and patient demographics using one-way ANOVA.
Results: The SNAC questionnaire consisted of 32 items that assessed five categories of support needs (informational, emotional, instrumental [e.g. practical physical help, provision of equipment or training], appraisal [e.g. clinician feedback on recovery] and spiritual needs). ICU survivors were recruited from Northern Ireland, England and Scotland. From a total of 375 questionnaires distributed, 202 (54%) were returned. The questionnaire had high internal consistency (0.97) and high test–retest reliability (r = 0.8) with subcategories ranging from 0.3 to 0.9.
Conclusions: The SNAC questionnaire appears to be a comprehensive, valid, and reliable questionnaire. Further research will enable more robust examination of its properties e.g. factor analysis, and establish its utility in identifying whether patients' support needs evolve over time.
Relevance to clinical practice: The SNAC questionnaire has the potential to be used to identify ICU survivors' needs and inform post-hospital support services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing in Critical Care
Early online date13 Aug 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 13 Aug 2021


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