Parent and Provider Experience and Shared Understanding After a Family-Centered Nighttime Communication Intervention

Acad Pediatr. May-Jun 2017;17(4):389-402. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2017.01.012. Epub 2017 Jan 29.


Objective: To assess parent and provider experience and shared understanding after a family-centered, multidisciplinary nighttime communication intervention (nurse-physician brief, family huddle, family update sheet).

Methods: We performed a prospective intervention study at a children's hospital from May 2013 to October 2013 (preintervention period) and May 2014 to October 2014 (postintervention period). Participants included 464 parents, 176 nurses, and 52 resident physicians of 582 hospitalized 0- to 17-year-old patients. Pre- versus postintervention, we compared parent/provider top-box scores (eg, "excellent") for experience with communication across several domains; and level of agreement (shared understanding) between parent, nurse, and resident reports of patients' reason for admission, overnight medical plan, and overall medical plan, as rated independently by blinded clinician reviewers (agreement = 74.7%, kappa = .60).

Results: Top-box parent experience improved for 1 of 4 domains: Experience and Communication With Nighttime Doctors (23.6% to 31.5%). Top-box provider experience improved for all 3 domains, including Communication and Shared Understanding With Families (resident rated, 16.5% to 35.1%; nurse rated, 32.2% to 37.9%) and Experience, Communication, and Shared Understanding With Other Providers (resident rated, 20.3% to 35.0%; nurse rated, 14.7% to 21.5%). Independently rated shared understanding remained unchanged for most domains but improved for parent-nurse composite shared understanding (summed agreement for reason for admission, overall plan, and overnight plan; 36.2% to 48.2%) and nurse-resident shared understanding regarding reason for admission (67.1% to 71.2%) and regarding overall medical plan (45.0% to 58.6%). All P <.05.

Conclusions: A family-centered, multidisciplinary nighttime communication intervention was associated with improvements in some, but not all, domains of parent/provider experience and shared understanding, particularly provider experience and nurse-family shared understanding. The intervention was promising but requires further refinement.

Keywords: communication; family-centered care; hospital experience; shared understanding.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nurses*
  • Parents*
  • Physicians*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Prospective Studies