Impact des politiques de visites restreintes pendant la COVID-19 sur les adultes gravement malades, leurs familles, les intensivistes et les décideurs : une étude d’entrevue qualitative Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, restricted visitation policies were enacted at acute care facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and conserve personal protective equipment. In this study, we aimed to describe the impact of restricted visitation policies on critically ill patients, families, critical care clinicians, and decision-makers; highlight the challenges faced in translating these policies into practice; and delineate strategies to mitigate their effects. METHOD: A qualitative description design was used. We conducted semistructured interviews with critically ill adult patients and their family members, critical care clinicians, and decision-makers (i.e., policy makers or enforcers) affected by restricted visitation policies. We transcribed semistructured interviews verbatim and analyzed the transcripts using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three patients, eight family members, 30 clinicians (13 physicians, 17 nurses from 23 Canadian intensive care units [ICUs]), and three decision-makers participated in interviews. Thematic analysis was used to identify five themes: 1) acceptance of restricted visitation (e.g., accepting with concerns); 2) impact of restricted visitation (e.g., ethical challenges, moral distress, patients dying alone, intensified workload); 3) trust in the healthcare system during the pandemic (e.g., mistrust of clinical team); 4) modes of communication (e.g., communication using virtual platforms); and 5) impact of policy implementation on clinical practice (e.g., frequent changes and inconsistent implementation). CONCLUSIONS: Restricted visitation policies across ICUs during the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected critically ill patients and their families, critical care clinicians, and decision-makers.


  • Fiest, Kirsten M
  • Krewulak, Karla D
  • Jaworska, Natalia
  • Spence, Krista L
  • Mizen, Sara J
  • Bagshaw, Sean M
  • Burns, Karen EA
  • Cook, Deborah
  • Fowler, Robert A
  • Olafson, Kendiss
  • Patten, Scott B
  • Rewa, Oleksa G
  • Rochwerg, Bram
  • Spence, Sean
  • West, Andrew
  • Stelfox, Henry T
  • Parsons Leigh, Jeanna

publication date

  • October 2022