Family-Centered Care During the COVID-19 Era

Joanna L. Hart, Alison E. Turnbull, Ian M. Oppenheim, Katherine R. Courtright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Family support is more, not less, important during crisis. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining public safety necessitates restricting the physical presence of families for hospitalized patients. In response, health systems must rapidly adapt family-centric procedures and tools to circumvent restrictions on physical presence. Strategies for maintaining family integrity must acknowledge clinicians’ limited time and attention to devote to learning new skills. Internet-based solutions can facilitate the routine, predictable, and structured communication, which is central to family-centered care. But the reliance on technology may compromise patient privacy and exacerbate racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities for populations that lack access to reliable internet access, devices, or technological literacy. We provide a toolbox of strategies for supporting family-centered inpatient care during physical distancing responsive to the current clinical climate. Innovations in the implementation of family involvement during hospitalizations may lead to long-term progress in the delivery of family-centered care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e93-e97
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Communication
  • critical care
  • family-centered care
  • patient care planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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