Despite concern that patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) may not be treated with respect and dignity, there is not conceptual clarity regarding what constitutes such treatment. In addition, measures specific to treatment with respect and dignity in the ICU are unavailable. Accordingly, a multidisciplinary group developed a conceptual model for treatment with respect and dignity in the ICU and used mixed methods to gather data on this issue. This effort included interviews with patients and families, focus groups with health care professionals, and direct observations. These data were then compared and contrasted to synthesize what was learned. Finally, pilot quantitative patient and family survey data were collected and analyzed. Each of these approaches, which comprise the papers in this supplement to Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, is briefly described in this article.
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