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What Is the Best?: Simple Versus Visitor Restricted Rest Period

Silvius-Byron, Stephanie A. BSN, RN; Florimonte, Christine RN; Panganiban, Elizabeth G. BSN, RN-BC; Ulmer, Janice Fitzgerald PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: May 2014 - Volume 44 - Issue 5 - p 291–297
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000069

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare a highly structured planned rest protocol that includes visitor and healthcare personnel restrictions with a simple planned rest period that encourages patients to rest during a designated time without restriction of visitors and healthcare personnel.

BACKGROUND: Many hospitals acute care have begun to restrict visitors and nonessential health team interventions during specific times despite the lack of experimentally designed studies.

METHODS: Using a convenience sample of 52 intermediate care unit patients, a randomized experimental design study compared a highly structured planned rest protocol with restriction of visitors/healthcare personnel to a simple planned rest period without restrictions. The primary outcome variable was the patient’s perceived quality of rest after a 2-hour rest period.

RESULTS: Intermediate care patients’ perception of rest and sleep during a designated rest period was similar whether elaborate rest strategies were used, including visitor and healthcare personnel restrictions, or if it was only suggested they rest and the door to their room closed.

CONCLUSIONS: The restriction of visitors and healthcare personnel during a 2-hour rest period did not improve the patient’s perception of rest or how long it took them to go to sleep.

Author Affiliations: Staff Nurse, Intermediate Care Unit (Mss Silvius-Byron, Florimonte, and Panganiban); Stroke Program Coordinator (Dr Ulmer), Munroe Regional Medical Center, Ocala, Florida.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Silvius-Byron, Munroe Regional Medical Center, 1500 SW 1st Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471 (

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins