Participation of family members in ward rounds: Attitude of medical staff, patients and relatives

Patient Educ Couns. 2007 Feb;65(2):166-70. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2006.07.003. Epub 2006 Sep 11.


Objective: To assess the attitude of medical staff, patients and their relatives to the presence of FMs in WRs.

Methods: This prospective study was performed in an Internal Medicine Department in Israel. WRs were conducted without (phase 1) and with (phase 2) the presence of FMs. Questionnaires were completed by staff members (N = 26, 23), patients (N = 26, 35) and FMs (N = 32, 40) during phases 1 and 2, respectively.

Results: 82.6%, 96% and 96.7% of staff, patients and relatives, respectively, expressed a positive attitude towards the participation of FMs in WRs. Staff members became significantly more positive about the concept after having undergone the experience. Patients believed it contributed to a better understanding of their disease and FMs felt it provided them with an opportunity to participate in medical decision-making.

Conclusion: Hospitalized patients would like their FMs to participate in WRs. Staff members were reluctant at first, but developed a more positive attitude towards the idea after the experience.

Practice implications: Incorporating FMs into WRs is plausible, though adjustment of WRs' routine to the change will be needed. This move might increase patients' satisfaction from WRs.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making
  • Family / psychology*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hospital Departments
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Internal Medicine
  • Israel
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patients' Rooms
  • Personnel, Hospital / psychology*
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visitors to Patients / psychology*