Family presence on rounds in neonatal, pediatric, and adult intensive care units

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013 Apr;10(2):152-6. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201301-006PS.


Family presence on bedside teaching rounds is advocated by professional organizations and endorsed in family-centered models of care delivery. Nevertheless, many physicians and staff members fear that family presence may prolong rounds and increase family anxiety or stress. Although understudied, these concerns have not been validated by the research conducted to date. Currently available evidence suggests that family members are less concerned with the stress imposed by rounds than with their need for information. When given the choice, between 85 and 100% of family members would prefer to be present on rounds. Research data suggest that either there is no significant change in teaching time or teaching time may decrease. The quality of teaching may actually improve when family members are present on teaching rounds. The available evidence informs us that families should be given the choice to participate in rounds, anticipating that the majority will accept the invitation. More research is necessary to raise the level of evidence in this line of inquiry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Professional-Family Relations / ethics*
  • Teaching Rounds / organization & administration*