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Patients’ experiences of clinical team meetings (ward round) at an adult inpatient eating disorders ward: a mixed-method service improvement project

Ward round is a key component in inpatient settings for treatment-related decision making. However, the meeting is often stressful and anxiety-provoking. This study aimed to explore and improve patients’ experiences of the clinical team meeting (CTM, historically known as ward round) in an eating disorders inpatient ward. A mixed-method approach was used. In-vivo observations, patient focus groups, interviews, and staff surveys were conducted.

Five CTMs were observed; six patients and seven staff participated. Former patients were involved in data analysis, improvement and dissemination. The mean CTM duration was 14.3 minutes. Patients spoke roughly half of the time, followed by psychiatry colleagues. ‘Request’ was the most-spoken category. Thematic analysis identified (1) CTM is important but feels impersonal, (2) they generate a sense of palpable anxiety; and (3) the differing views of staff and patients. The findings and the co-produced guidance documents provided concrete contribution to improve patient’s experiences despite the challenges brought by COVID-19. Nevertheless, factors beyond CTMs including the ward’s power hierarchy, culture and language also need addressing to facilitate shared decision-making.

Vanessa Yim

Vanessa is a trainee clinical psychologist at University of Oxford. Her research interests include digital psychological interventions, eating disorders, service user involvement, art and mental health, community psychology, forced migration, and diversity and inclusion.

She’s the lead newsletter editor in the Minorities in Clinical Psychology Sub-Committee under the Division of Clinical Psychology, British Psychological Society.