The Effects of Hospital Visiting – A Pilot Study

Report
The Effects of Hospital
Visiting – A Pilot Study
Mandy Watkins,
Health Services Research Group
Need for Research

The literature research found no studies on
the effects of hospital visiting in the
orthopaedic setting and very little research for
long term settings

The effects on visitors in the orthopaedic
setting could be quite significant
Aims of the Study

1) To investigate the effects of hospital
visiting on the patients and their relatives

2) To focus on the visitor’s perspective in
order to gain an understanding into their
experience of visiting
Project Design

Qualitative approach

Literature search and review

Observational study of the orthopaedic
trauma unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Main Findings

Reasons for visiting

Patient – visitor interaction

Visitor – nurse interaction
Reasons for Visiting




The relatives visit their hospitalised family
member to see how they are progressing and
how they are feeling
They want to help the patient to be as
comfortable and happy as possible
Many of the previous research findings were
identified in the results of this study
Visitors acted as patient advocate
Patient – Visitor Interactions

Non-spouse male visitors tended to be the
ones who picked up the patient chart to
check their progress

When patients are visited by their spouse
there is not much conversation. Often they
sit in comfortable silence.
Visitor – Nurse Interactions



Visitor – nurse interaction was found to be
mostly visitor initiated and on a help seeking
basis
More visitor – nurse interaction was observed
at the weekend when it was quieter on the
ward.
The nurses were very willing to help the
visitors in any way that they could.
Limitations

Short amount of time in which to carry out the
project

Unable to interview patients and visitors

Hawthorne effect
Recommendations




Using interviews as well as observation
Increase 15 minute observation spells
More observation times
Gain access to information about how long
patients have been in hospital
Acknowledgements




Undergraduate summer research
scholarship, RGU
Professor Rosemary Chesson, Health
Services Research Group
Ms Noelle Ruta, clinical nurse manager,
orthopaedics, GUHT
All the staff at the Health Services Research
Group

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