The impact of ICU family liaison during the COVID-19

Research Project

The impact of the intensive care unit family liaison nurse role on communication by healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic

About this project

This study aimed to explore the impact of the ICU Family Liaison Nurse (FLN) role on communication with patients and their family during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the ICU healthcare professionals’ perspectives. A qualitative descriptive design was used. Seven participants including ICU FLNs, ICU doctors, nurses and social workers who worked with the ICU FLNs were interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Two major themes were identified. First, the COVID-19 pandemic presented both challenges and opportunities to improve patient and family communication. Second, the ICU FLN role brought beneficial impacts to the ICU healthcare professionals’ workflow and work experience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICU FLN role was acceptable, beneficial and appreciated from the ICU healthcare professionals’ perspectives.

Research team


  • Ruofei Chen - Masters student
  • Dr Jason Watterson
  • Dr Aidan Burrell