Research Output
Family ward rounds in Intensive Care: an integrative review of the literature
The involvement of family members in the ward rounds is a novel but under-researched family-centered care intervention in adult intensive care units, with limited evidence on the impact it has on patient and family-centered outcomes.

This integrative review aimed to understand how family rounds are implemented in critical care and to appraise the evidence on outcomes for patients, family members, and healthcare professionals.

An integrative review methodological framework permitted the inclusion of all research designs.

Data sources
MEDLINE; CINAHL; PsycINFO; Cochrane Library; Web of Science Current Contents Connect; Web of Science—Core Collection; The Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database; ProQuest Sociological Abstracts; and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Global, Embase were systematically searched.

Review Methods
We reviewed studies that referred to or used as an intervention the involvement of family members in daily critical care team rounds. We included primary research in adult intensive care units regardless of patients' length of stay. We excluded patients receiving end-of-life care. We considered any outcome related to the critically ill patient and/or their family member, outcomes related to the healthcare professionals, and outcomes related to clinical and/or nursing treatment. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to appraise the quality of the studies. The review was registered in the Prospero database.

From the 541 articles initially retrieved, 15 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Studies originated from the United States of America and Canada since 2003, and a variety of designs were used. Four before and after studies and a non-randomized experimental study explored the impact of structured family rounds on family and staff satisfaction, showing limited improvement in satisfaction. Six cross-sectional survey studies explored family members' and clinicians' perceptions and demonstrated a positive attitude towards family-centered rounds, but some concerns were raised from the nursing staff. Three qualitative studies and a mixed-methods study identified structural and cultural factors influencing healthcare professionals' and families' acceptance of family rounds. Most studies were of poor to moderate quality, with limited confidence in the outcomes reported.

Most studies reported improved family satisfaction as the main outcome. Future research should focus on longitudinal patient and family-centered outcomes, including mental health outcomes, and on qualitative data to understand the processes, barriers, and facilitators to implement family-centered rounds in intensive care units.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    08 September 2020

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  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Kydonaki, K., Takashima, M., & Mitchell, M. (2021). Family ward rounds in Intensive Care: an integrative review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 113,



Systematic review, Nursing, Family members, Relatives, Critical care, Family involvement, Family-Centered Rounds, Ward rounds

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