Schwartz Rounds for Staff in an Australian Tertiary Hospital: Protocol for a Pilot Uncontrolled Trial

Tatjana Ewais, Georgia Hunt, Jonathan Munro, Paul Pun, Christy Hogan, Leeroy William, Andrew Teodorczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Background: Schwartz Rounds are a unique, organization-wide interdisciplinary intervention aimed at enhancing staff well-being, compassionate care, teamwork, and organizational culture in health care settings. They provide a safe space wherein both clinical and nonclinical health staff can connect and share their experiences about the social and emotional aspects of health care. Objective: Although Schwartz Rounds have been assessed and widely implemented in the United States and United Kingdom, they are yet to be formally evaluated in Australian health care settings. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and impact of Schwartz Rounds on staff well-being, compassionate care, and organizational culture, in a tertiary metropolitan hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Methods: This mixed methods repeated measures pilot study will recruit 24 participants in 2 groups from 2 departments, the intensive care unit and the gastroenterology department. Participants from each group will take part in 3 unit-based Schwartz Rounds. Primary outcomes will include the study and intervention feasibility measures, while secondary outcomes will include scores on the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey, the Schwartz Centre Compassionate Care Scale, and the Culture of Care Barometer. Primary and secondary outcomes will be collected at baseline, after the Rounds, and 3-month follow-up. Two focus groups will be held approximately 2 months after completion of the Schwartz Rounds. Descriptive statistics, paired t tests, chi-square tests, and analysis of variance will be used to compare quantitative data across time points and groups. Qualitative data from focus groups and free-text survey questions will be analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Results: The study was approved by the Mater Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (reference number: HREC/MML/71868) and recruitment commenced in July 2021; study completion is anticipated by May 2022. Conclusions: The study will contribute to the assessment of feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the Schwartz Rounds in a tertiary Australian hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere35083
Number of pages10
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • compassionate care
  • health care staff well-being
  • Schwartz Rounds

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