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Involving family in medical rounds benefits both family and medical team
Date:11/24/2009

ds minimally prolonged team rounds. Overall, medical team work load was either unchanged or somewhat shortened during the study, as most families who attended team rounds needed far less time later at the bedside, and plans were less likely to change as a result of discussions made earlier in the day during team rounds.

One hundred percent of families who participated in the program indicated that family inclusion in rounds should be continued. For some patients, both the mother and father attended. Other days, one parent attended while the other stayed at the bedside. Older siblings or grandparents who were active participants in the patients' care often attended rounds. Teenage patients were also invited. In fact, it was often the teenage patients who attended most regularly. "Families reported increased feelings of inclusion, respect, and having a better understanding of their child's care," Dr Knoderer reported.

While medical students and resident physicians recognized the value of family inclusion for patient care and family satisfaction, some doubted the benefit to their own training. Yet, all acknowledged that parents should be allowed to participate in team rounds. Attending physicians indicated that parental inclusion in team rounds was an important teaching opportunity. It allowed attending physicians to better observe, evaluate, and give feedback on the trainees' communication skills.

"Parents of children with cancer become quite savvy. They reserve their toughest questions for the attending physician. When the attending makes rounds alone, the medical team can't witness these sensitive discussions. Allowing the medical trainees to witness difficult conversations about diagnosis, treatment and prognosis gives trainees a basis from which they develop their own practice style. Each interaction between parent and attending physician allows trainees to determine how the trainee can most effectively communicate with their patients
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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