Clin Teach. 2023 Aug 8:e13614. doi: 10.1111/tct.13614. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Ward round communication is essential to patient care. While communication in general with older patients is well described, little is known about how communication with older patients and their relatives at ward rounds can be optimised. Hence, this scoping review aims to provide an overview of ward round communication with older patients. Furthermore, the review investigates barriers to the optimal communication. Such an overview would provide a point of departure for developing future health care professionals' education in ward round communication training.
METHOD: A scoping review was performed by searching CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, and PubMed databases. The search strategy included terms synonymous with "ward rounds" and "older patients." We included studies regarding communication with patients above 65 years during ward rounds. Thematic analysis was applied.
RESULTS: Seven of the 2322 identified papers were included in the present review. Thematic analysis revealed three overall themes: Communication strategy, frailty and patient participation, and organisational and age norm challenges. Barriers included frailty-related patient characteristics and imbalance of power between physicians and patients. Papers focused mainly on what the optimal ward round communication should include rather than how it should be performed.
CONCLUSION: Characteristics of frail older patients and organisational barriers challenge effective and safe ward round communication. Little is known about how ward round communication with frail older patients and their relatives can be optimised.