Patients experiences of bedside handover: findings from a meta-synthesis

Valentina Bressan, Lucia Cadorin, Simone Stevanin, Alvisa Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Bedside shift reports have been recently recommended to ensure handovers. However, no evidence summarising studies designed to determine the qualitative approaches capable of better understanding patient experience have been published to date. Aim: The aim of this study was to acquire a deeper understanding of the experiences of patients regarding bedside shift reports. Data sources and review methods: A systematic review of qualitative studies followed by a meta-synthesis method based upon Sandelowski's and Barroso's guidelines was performed. Four databases were systematically explored (PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and PsycINFO) without any limitation in time and up to the 31 August 2018. A total of 10 studies were included and evaluated in their methodological quality; then, a thematic synthesis was developed to synthetize the findings. Results: Three major themes reflect patients’ experience regarding the bedside shift reports: (i) ‘Being involved’; (ii) ‘Being the centre of nursing care processes’; and (iii) ‘Experiencing critical issues’. Patients are supportive of bedside shift reports as a right, as an opportunity to be involved, and of being in the centre of the nursing care process. By designing and implementing bedside shift reports, nurses also have an opportunity to increase patient safety and to provide concrete proof of the advancements achieved by the nursing profession in recent years. Conclusions: The bedside shift reports experience has been little studied to date from the perspective of patients. According to the findings, implementation of the bedside shift reports should include providing education to nurses with regard to the preferences and expectations of patients, as well as the critical issues that they can experience during the bedside shift reports. Presenting the bedside shift reports method, asking patient consent, discussing potential critical issues and the degree of involvement preferred at hospital admission, is strongly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-568
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


  • bedside handover
  • bedside shift report
  • literature review
  • meta-synthesis
  • nursing
  • patient experience
  • systematic qualitative review
  • thematic synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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