The Impact of Parental Presence on Trainee Education During PICU Rounds: A Brief Report


To determine the impact of parental presence on the number and types of educational questions asked of and by medical trainees during PICU rounds.


An investigator joined bedside rounds in a 14-bed medical-surgical PICU on 20 weekdays between December 2016 and June 2017. For each patient, the investigator recorded the time devoted to education. Educational questions were recorded verbatim. Questions were categorized as “teaching” (senior team member to a trainee) or “learning” (trainee to a more senior team member) and by content (eg, physiology, imaging, prognosis). Two blinded investigators independently assigned codes to each educational question; discrepancies were resolved to the satisfaction of both.


Data include 151 patient-specific rounding events, involving 92 patients. At least 1 parent attended the entirety of 59/151 rounding events (39%). There were no significant differences between the duration of education or the number of educational questions asked when parents were present (1 minute; 2 questions) versus absent (2 minutes; 2 questions). When parents were present, 20% questions were learning versus 25% when parents were absent. Zero percent of rounding events included ≥1 question about prognosis when parents were present versus 9% when absent (P = .02). There was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of questions related to complications of management or social factors.


Parent participation in rounds did not impact the quantity of education during rounds but did impact the type of educational questions asked, specifically restricting the discussion of patient prognosis.

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