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Parents’ attitudes to medical education on paediatric ward rounds
  1. Julia Barrington1,2,
  2. Clare Polley1,2,
  3. Carolyn van Heerden1,2,
  4. Amy Gray1,2
  1. 1 The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Gray, Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; amy.gray{at}


Objectives To understand parents’ attitudes to medical education of junior doctors and students during ward rounds, and to explore how parents’ perceptions vary in medical and surgical paediatric wards.

Design A mixed-methods descriptive study was done using 100 semistructured interviews across two departments at a single tertiary-level paediatric hospital. Quantitative data were derived from closed-ended interview responses and analysed using descriptive statistics to explore overall parental satisfaction with education on rounds. Qualitative data were obtained from open-ended interview responses using inductive content analysis, with themes agreed between three researchers.

Results This study demonstrated high parental satisfaction with education on ward rounds, with over 85% of parents satisfied with education occurring on rounds. There was no difference between medical and surgical cohorts despite more parents witnessing teaching on medical rounds (70%) than on surgical rounds (16%). Qualitative data derived four key themes: altruism as the reason for supporting education, the child still comes first, setting the scene and the location matters.

Conclusion This research demonstrates parents support education of medical students and junior doctors during ward rounds, provided ward-based learning is not perceived to compromise care. Intentional communication with parents regarding the teaching process, including timing and location of teaching, helps improve engagement and parental satisfaction.

  • Paediatrics
  • Qualitative research

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  • Contributors JB was involved in study design, data collection, data interpretation and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AG designed the study, supported data analysis and reviewed the manuscript. CvH supported study design and data interpretation and review of the manuscript. CP supported study design and review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.