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Critical Care Open Visiting Hours

Whitton, Sarah MSN, RN; Pittiglio, Laura I. PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e31822c9ab1
Healing Environments: Space and Design Considerations

To gain an understanding of and increased knowledge about the effects of open visiting hours on patients, their family members, and nurses within the intensive care unit environment, the author reviewed 10 empirical studies. Much has been debated about the essentials needed to create a healing environment that best promotes harmony of the mind, body, and spirit for the critically ill patient. Research indicates an open visiting policy may improve the quality of care and satisfaction of patients, family members, and nurses in the intensive care unit. The studies reviewed show that although most critical care nurses find that open visiting hours may impede patient care, the benefits to patients and family outweigh any negative impact to the patient.

Oakland University, Washington (Ms Whitton), Oakland University, Rochester, MI (Dr Pittiglio)

Correspondence: Laura I. Pittiglio, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4401 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.