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Descriptive study of parents’ perceptions of paediatric ward rounds
  1. Julia Barrington1,
  2. Clare Polley2,
  3. Carolyn van Heerden1,2,
  4. Amy Gray1,2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Gray, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia; amy.gray{at}


Objectives To explore parents’ perceptions of ward rounds in two different ward settings (medical and surgical unit) in a tertiary paediatric hospital in Australia and to understand key factors influencing them.

Design A descriptive study was conducted based on 100 semistructured interviews across two different inpatient units: medical (n=50) and surgical (n=50). Quantitative data, obtained from closed-ended responses, were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data, obtained from open-ended responses, were analysed using inductive content analysis, facilitating a more in-depth understanding of parents’ perceptions of ward rounds and their lived experience.

Results Parents in both medical and surgical units reported high levels of satisfaction with ward rounds, with a median parental satisfaction rating of 4 out of a possible 5 (comparative in both settings). Two major themes were identified influencing parental perceptions of ward rounds: team-family dynamics and managing uncertainties inherent to ward rounds.

Conclusion This study demonstrates that parents highly value ward rounds, primarily for the opportunity they offer to collaborate with the clinical team and to ask questions. Parental satisfaction was high in both medical and surgical units, despite notable differences in ward round structure and function. Our study highlights key areas where small changes could empower parents and enhance their overall hospital experience.

  • qualitative research
  • ethology
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  • Contributors JB was involved in study design, data collection, data interpretation and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AG designed the study, supported data analysis and reviewed the manuscript. CvH supported study design and data interpretation and review of the manuscript. CP supported study design and review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by Human Research Ethics Committee at The Royal Children’s Hospital (HREC Reference Number: 38331).

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. Deidentified participant data including participant demographics, survey results and recording transcripts are available on reasonable request to JB (ORCID ID 0000-0001-7647-7444).

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