Assessment of parental presence during bedside pediatric intensive care unit rounds: effect on duration, teaching, and privacy

Lorri M Phipps, Cheryl N Bartke, Debra A Spear, Linda F Jones, Carolyn P Foerster, Marie E Killian, Jennifer R Hughes, Joseph C Hess, David R Johnson, Neal J Thomas
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2007, 8 (3): 220-4

OBJECTIVE: There is a paucity of literature evaluating the effects of family member presence during bedside medical rounds in the pediatric intensive care unit. We hypothesized that, when compared with rounds without family members, parental presence during morning medical rounds would increase time spent on rounds, decrease medical team teaching/education, increase staff dissatisfaction, create more stress in family members, and violate patient privacy in our open unit.

DESIGN: Prospective, blinded, observational study.

SETTING: Academic pediatric intensive care unit with 12 beds.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 105 admissions were studied, 81 family members completed a survey, and 187 medical team staff surveys were completed.

INTERVENTIONS: Investigators documented parental presence and time allocated for presentation, teaching, and answering questions. Surveys related to perception of goals, teaching, and privacy of rounds were distributed to participants.

MEASUREMENTS: Time spent on rounds, time spent teaching on rounds, and medical staff and family perception of the effects of parental presence on rounds.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between time spent on rounds in the presence or absence of family members (p = NS). There is no significant difference between the time spent teaching by the attending physician in the presence or absence of family members (p = NS). Overall, parents reported that the medical team spent an appropriate amount of time discussing their child and were not upset by this discussion. Parents did not perceive that their own or their child's privacy was violated during rounds. The majority of medical team members reported that the presence of family on rounds was beneficial.

CONCLUSIONS: Parental presence on rounds does not seem to interfere with the educational and communication process. Parents report satisfaction with participation in rounds, and privacy violations do not seem to be a concern from their perspective.

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