FICUS trial begins recruitment of participants

The intensive care units participating in the FICUS trial have started recruiting family members of ICU patients from German-speaking Switzerland in June.

Families of patients treated in intensive care units (ICU) are themselves profoundly affected by the critical illness or trauma. They experience considerable stress, which means that about one third of family members experience adverse mental health.

The FICUS study (Family Support Intervention in Intensive Care Units) is a hybrid, cluster-randomized trial that tests the effect of a nurse-led, interprofessional family support intervention in ICUs on quality of family care, family management, and individual mental health. Additionally, the FICUS trial investigates the context factors and strategies that facilitate or impede a successful implementation of the family support program.

At the beginning of June, the recruitment of family members in the 16 cluster ICUs in German-speaking Switzerland has started. The aim is to recruit around 900 participants.

The study values patient and public involvement in research. Therefore, patients and family member advise on study processes The FICUS Patient and Family Advisory Group consists of three family members, one patient, and a patient advocate.



As a result of this close collaboration, the FICUS trial is now listed on the Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) map of the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation.

The study is led by Professor Dr. phil. Rahel Naef, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, University of Zurich and Centre for Clinical Nursing Science at University Hospital Zurich; Professor Dr. med. Miodrag Filipovic, Anesthesiology/Intensive Care Medicine at Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen; and Dr. phil. Marie-Madlen Jeitziner, University Clinic for Intensive Care Medicine, Inselspital, University Hospital Bern.

The FICUS study is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and supported by the Swiss Society of Intensive Medicine.

The study centers are four intensive care units focusing on cardio-vascular, traumatology, internal medicine and neurosurgery at the University Hospital Zurich, the Inselspital Bern, the Lindenhofspital Bern, the Cantonal Hospital Graubünden, the Cantonal Hospital Lucerne, the Cantonal Hospital Baden, the Cantonal Hospital Frauenfeld, the Cantonal Hospital Olten, the Cantonal Hospital Winterthur, the Hospital Thun, the Hirslanden Clinic Zurich, as well as the Clinic for Intensive Medicine and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen.

Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw