Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 447–457 | Cite as

Effect of Bedside vs. Non-bedside Patient Case Presentation During Ward Rounds: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

  • Martina Gamp
  • Christoph Becker
  • Theresa Tondorf
  • Seraina Hochstrasser
  • Kerstin Metzger
  • Gunther Meinlschmidt
  • Wolf Langewitz
  • Rainer Schäfert
  • Stefano Bassetti
  • Sabina HunzikerEmail author
Review Paper



Ward rounds are important for communicating with patients, but it is unclear whether bedside or non-bedside case presentation is the better approach.


We conducted a comprehensive search up to July 2018 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing bedside and non-bedside case presentations. Data was abstracted independently by two researchers and study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Our primary outcome was patient’s satisfaction with ward rounds. Our main secondary outcome was patient’s understanding of disease and the management plan.


Among 1647 identified articles, we included five RCTs involving 655 participants with overall moderate trial quality. We found no difference in having low patient’s satisfaction between bedside and non-bedside case presentations (risk ratio [RR], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.09). We also found no impact on patient’s understanding of their disease and management plan (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.67 to 1.28). Trial sequential analysis (TSA) indicated low power of our main analysis.


We found no differences in patient-relevant outcomes between bedside and non-bedside case presentations with a lack of statistical power among current trials. There is a need for larger studies to find the optimal approach to patient case presentation during ward rounds.


communication health communication hospital medicine meta-analysis patient-centered care 



We thank Jørn Wetterslev, Chief Physician at the Copenhagen Trial Unit, for helpful discussions regarding TSA.

Author Contributions

Martina Gamp and Sabina Hunziker designed the study. Christoph Becker and Martina Gamp performed the literature search. Theresa Tondorf, Seraina Hochstrasser, and Kerstin Metzger contributed to the discussion part. Wolf Langewitz, Rainer Schäfert, Gunther Meinlschmidt, and Stefano Bassetti revised the manuscript critically. All authors approved the final version.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11606_2018_4714_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (28 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martina Gamp
    • 1
  • Christoph Becker
    • 1
  • Theresa Tondorf
    • 1
  • Seraina Hochstrasser
    • 1
  • Kerstin Metzger
    • 1
  • Gunther Meinlschmidt
    • 2
  • Wolf Langewitz
    • 1
  • Rainer Schäfert
    • 2
  • Stefano Bassetti
    • 3
  • Sabina Hunziker
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Communication, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine University Hospital Basel, and University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Psychosomatic MedicineUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland

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