Whether a planned or unexpected admission, having a relative in the intensive care unit (ICU) can be a time of turmoil and extreme stress for family members as well as patients. Research has identified the increased risk relatives face of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be felt long after their loved one has been discharged from the ICU. Family dysfunction as well as physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial distress have also been reported as adverse outcomes attributable to a family member's admission to the ICU. Before strategies can be implemented to address or mitigate the risk of adverse outcomes developing, it is imperative to further understand the family members’ experience and needs. Using meta-aggregative methods, a qualitative synthesis published in this issue of JBI Evidence Synthesis reports on the multifaceted needs of family members at this time, and provides recommendations for how qualitative findings can be translated to practice environments.