Family participation during intensive care unit rounds: attitudes and experiences of parents and healthcare providers in a tertiary pediatric intensive care unit

J Pediatr. 2014 Feb;164(2):402-6.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.09.037. Epub 2013 Nov 8.


Objective: To compare the experiences and attitudes of healthcare providers and parents regarding parental participation in morning rounds, in particular to evaluate for differences in perception of parental comprehension of rounds content and parental comfort with attendance, and to identify subgroups of parents who are more likely to report comfort with attending rounds.

Study design: Cross-sectional survey of 100 parents and 131 healthcare providers in a tertiary care pediatric medical/surgical intensive care unit. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze survey responses; univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare parent and healthcare provider responses.

Results: Of parents, 92% reported a desire to attend rounds, and 54% of healthcare providers reported a preference for parental presence. There were significant discrepancies in perception of understanding between the 2 groups, with healthcare providers much less likely to perceive that parents understood both the format (30% vs 73%, P < .001) and content (21% vs 84%, P < .001) of rounds compared with parents. Analysis of parent surveys did not reveal characteristics correlated with increased comfort or desire to attend rounds.

Conclusions: A majority of parents wish to participate in morning rounds, whereas healthcare provider opinions are mixed. Important discrepancies exist between parent and healthcare provider perceptions of parental comfort and comprehension on rounds, which may be important in facilitating parental presence.

Keywords: ICU; Intensive care unit.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Personnel / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric*
  • Male
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Parents*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Teaching Rounds / methods*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Visitors to Patients
  • Young Adult