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VOLUME 26 , ISSUE 3 ( March, 2022 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Visiting and Communication Policy in Intensive Care Units during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey from South Asia and the Middle East

Maher J Al Bahrani, Ashraf Al Tayar, Madiha Hashmi, Vinod Jaiswal, Sandeep Kantor, Bassam Mansour, Anushka D Mudalige, Rashid Nadeem, Gentle S Shrestha, Ahmed R Taha, Melda Türkoğlu, Dameera Weeratunga

Keywords : Communication barrier, Do not resuscitate orders, End-of-life care, Family communication, Informed consent, Informed consent document, Patient visitors, Terminal care, Visitors to patients

Citation Information : Al Bahrani MJ, Al Tayar A, Hashmi M, Jaiswal V, Kantor S, Mansour B, Mudalige AD, Nadeem R, Shrestha GS, Taha AR, Türkoğlu M, Weeratunga D. Visiting and Communication Policy in Intensive Care Units during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey from South Asia and the Middle East. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022; 26 (3):268-275.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24091

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 30-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Purpose: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had affected the visiting or communicating policies for family members. We surveyed the intensive care units (ICUs) in South Asia and the Middle East to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on visiting and communication policies.

Materials and method: A web-based cross-sectional survey was used to collect data between March 22, 2021, and April 7, 2021, from healthcare professionals (HCP) working in COVID and non-COVID ICUs (one response per ICU). The topics of the questionnaire included current and pre-pandemic policies on visiting, communication, informed consent, and end-of-life care in ICUs.

Results: A total of 292 ICUs (73% of COVID ICUs) from 18 countries were included in the final analysis. Most (92%) of ICUs restricted their visiting hours, and nearly one-third (32.3%) followed a “no-visitor” policy. There was a significant change in the daily visiting duration in COVID ICUs compared to the pre-pandemic times (p = 0.011). There was also a significant change (p <0.001) in the process of informed consent and end-of-life discussions during the ongoing pandemic compared to pre-pandemic times.

Conclusion: Visiting and communication policies of the ICUs had significantly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies are needed to understand the sociopsychological and medicolegal implications of revised policies.

Supplementary Files:
Appendix 1 Survey
Supplement 2 CROSS

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