Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Christian, Becky

Committee Member

Hammash, Muna

Author's Keywords

open visitation; restricted visitation; overstimulation; satisfaction; patient and family members


Background: Open visitation within adult intensive care units (ICUs) has recently replaced restricted visitation to further support patient and family centered care (PFCC) and improve satisfaction. The involvement of the patient or designated person in healthcare decisions and activities, decreases patient anxiety and stress, and can improve recovery. However, with the initiation of open visitation, many ICU patients, families and nursing staff are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the new issues that are arising. Decreased productive sleep, increased incidences of delirium, and constant overstimulation can cause patients and families to feel like recovery is unattainable. Nursing workflow is becoming dysfunctional, further increasing nurse burnout, while concerns for safety are on the rise. The goal of this quality improvement project (QI) was to determine if open visitation is preferred to a period of restricted visitation by surveying patients, family members and Neurosurgical ICU nurses. Methods: Pre and post-intervention surveys were disseminated, obtaining opinions regarding open visitation versus restricted visitation. Patients or family members, depending on the cognitive ability of the patient, completed the surveys along with the nursing staff. Survey questions addressed common barriers, issues and concerns that arise with each group among the varying levels of visitation. A two-tailed paired sample t-test was conducted to determine approval of open visitation versus restricted visitation. Results: Post-intervention satisfaction scores were higher among staff members than pre-intervention. This reflected that nurse satisfaction was higher with restricted visitation than open visitation. Responses from patient and family members demonstrated approval with open visitation.

Included in

Nursing Commons