Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


The patient experience of patient-centered communication with nurses in the hospital setting: a qualitative systematic review protocol

Newell, Stephanie Grad Cert Inn Entrep; Jordan, Zoe BA, MA, PhD

Author Information
JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports: January 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 1 - p 76-87
doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2015-1072
  • Free


Inclusion criteria

Types of participants

The review will consider studies that include adult patients who are 18 years of age and older who have been admitted as inpatients to a medical-surgical ward.

Studies and texts presenting adult inpatients to all other hospital wards settings will be excluded. Maternity, emergency department, operating room, palliative and psychiatric ward settings will be excluded. Emergency department settings are excluded as they may not include patients that are admitted to hospital. Operating room settings are excluded because of the variations in the level of consciousness that may occur to patients. Maternity, palliative care and psychiatric patients because of unique needs of care required by these patients. Studies that include patients with cognitive disorders will also be excluded.

Phenomena of interest

This review will consider studies that investigate patient experience of engaging and interacting with nurses at the bedside in the hospital setting and the meaningfulness of that experience.

Types of studies

This review will consider studies that focus on qualitative data including, but not limited to, designs such as phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, action research and feminist research.

In the absence of research studies, other text such as opinion papers and reports will be considered.

Search strategy

The search strategy aims to find both published and unpublished studies. A three-step search strategy will be used. An initial limited search of MEDLINE and CINAHL will be undertaken followed by analysis of the text words contained in the title and abstract, and of the index terms used to describe article. A second search using all identified keywords and index terms will then be undertaken across all included databases. Thirdly, the reference list of all identified reports and articles will be searched for additional studies.

Studies published in English will be considered for inclusion in this review. Studies published from 1998-2013 will be considered for inclusion in this review. The commencing year of 1998 has been selected as it is anticipated that most studies that describe and investigate the patient experience occur after this date. This decision is based on the emergence of literature on patient safety and patient-centered care that have been integral to the formation of evidence for patient engagement and participation in health care.

The databases to be searched include:




Dissertation abstracts (digital dissertations)

Initial keywords to be used will be:

Hospital care or acute care or point of care

Nurse or nurses or nursing

Patients or inpatient

Interact or talk or communicate or communication or relations or empathy or bonding or listening or voice or interpersonal or personal or caring

Patient-centered or patient-focused

Assessment of methodological quality

Papers selected for retrieval will be assessed by two independent reviewers for quality, validity and appropriates of methodology and method prior to inclusion in the review. Standardized critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI-QARI) (Appendix V) will be used. Any disagreements that arise between the reviewers will be resolved through discussion, or with a third reviewer.

Data collection

Data will be extracted from papers included in the review using the standardized data extraction tool from JBI-QARI (Appendix VI). The data extracted will include specific details about the phenomena of interest, populations, study methods and outcomes of significance to the review question and specific objectives.

Data synthesis

Qualitative research findings will, where possible be pooled using JBI-QARI. This will involve the aggregation or synthesis of findings to generate a set of statements that represent that aggregation, through assembling the findings rated according to their quality, and categorizing these findings on the basis of similarity in meaning. These categories will then be subjected to a meta-synthesis in order to produce a single comprehensive set of synthesized findings that can be used as a basis for evidence-based practice. Where textual pooling is not possible the findings will be presented in narrative form.

Conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest


Dr Yifan Xue, Research Fellow, The Joanna Briggs Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide


1. Fleisher S, Berg A, Zimmerman M, Wuste K, Behrens J. Nurse-patient interaction and communication: A systematic literature review.Journal of Public Health.2009; (17): 339-353.
    2. Higgs J, Ajjawi R, McAllister L, Trede F, Loftus S. Communicating in the health sciences. 2008; p.3.
      3. Frampton SB, Charmel PA. Putting patients first: best practices in patient-centered care.2009; p.251.
        4. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health care. patient-centered care: improving quality and safety through partnership with patients and consumers. 2011; p.10.
          5. Institute of Medicine. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the Twenty-first Century. 2001.
            6. World Health Organisation.Patients for Patient Safety [Internet]. [cited 2013 June 18] Available from: 2013.
              7. United States Health and Human Services website HHS gov. News Release: Partnership for patients to improve care and lower costs for Americans April 2011 [cited 2013 June 20]. Available from:http://
                8. One Hundred and Eleventh Congress of the United States of America. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [Internet]. H.R. 3590 [cited 2013 June 19]. Available from:http://
                  9. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Partnership for Patients.[cited 2013 June 20]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: c
                    10. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), Sydney. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. 2012.
                      11. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Australian Safety and Quality Goals for Health Care. [Internet] [cited 19 June, 2103] Available from:
                        12. The Commonwealth Fund. The Commonwealth International Health Policy Survey.. 2011
                          13. Department of Health Victoria. Victorian Satisfaction Monitor Year 10 Annual Report July 2010 to June 2011, 2011
                            14. Ahern DK, Woods SS, Lightowler MC, Finely SW, Houston TK.. Promise of and potential for patient-facing technologies to enable meaningful use. American journal of preventative medicine.2011; 40(5): 162-72.
                              15. Davies E, Cleary PD. Hearing the patient's voice? Factors affecting the use of patient survey data in quality improvement. Quality and safety in Health care.2005; 14(6): 428-32.
                              16. Larsen D, Peters H, Keast J.,Using real time patient feedback to introduce safety changes.. Nursing Management - UK.,2011; 18 (6): 27-31.
                                17. Reinders ME, Ryan BL, Blankenstein AH, van der Horst HE, Stewart MA, van Marwijk HWJ. The effect of Patient Feedback on Physicians' Consultation Skills: A Systematic Review. Acad Med.2011; (86):1426-1436.
                                  18. Sieger M, Fritz E, Them C.,In discourse: Bourdieus theory of practice and habitus in the context of communication-orientated nursing model. Journal of Advanced Nursing.2012;68(2): p.480-489.
                                    19. McCabe C., Nurse-patient communication: an exploration of patients' experiences. Journal of Clinical Nursing.2004; (13): 41-49.
                                      20. Langewitz WA, Eich P, Kiss A, Wossmer B. Improving communication skills a radomized controlled behaviourally oriented intervention study for residents in internal medicine. Psychosomatic Medicine.1998; (60): 268-276.
                                        21. Wellard SJ, Lillibridge J, Beanland CJ, Lewis M.,Consumer participation in acute care settings: An Australian experience. International Journal of Nursing.2003; (9): 255-260.
                                          22. Maurer M, Dardess P, Carman KL et al., Guide to Patient and Family Engagement: Environmental Scan Report. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality., 2012.
                                            23. Hovey RB, Dvorak ML, Burton T, Worsham S, Padilla J, Hatlie MJ, Morck AC. Patient Safety: A Consumer's Perspective. Qual Health Res.2011; 21(5): 662-72.
                                            24. Tejero LMS. Development and validation of an instrument to measure nurse-patient bonding. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2010; (47): 608-615.

                                            Appendix I: Appraisal instruments

                                            QARI appraisal instrument

                                            no caption available.

                                            Appendix II: Data extraction instruments

                                            QARI data extraction instrument

                                            no caption available.
                                            no caption available.

                                            Patient-centered care; patient-centered communication; bedside; hospital setting

                                            © 2015 by Lippincott williams & Wilkins, Inc.