Can Staff Be Supported to Deliver Compassionate Care Through Implementing Schwartz Rounds in Community and Mental Health Services?

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Schwartz Rounds are evidence-based interdisciplinary discussions where health care staff can share experiences of the emotional and social aspects of care, to support improvements in patient care. Developed in acute services, they are now being implemented in various settings including U.K. community and mental health services where their implementation has not been researched. Realist evaluation was used to analyze three community and mental health case studies of Round implementation, involving Round observations (n = 5), staff interviews (n = 22), and post-Round evaluation sheets (n = 206). Where Schwartz Rounds were successfully implemented and facilitated, the discussions enabled emotional resonance across interdisciplinary colleagues about caring experiences, enabling the recognition of a common humanity. Participants appreciated attending Rounds and saw they improved communications, trust, and openness with colleagues and enabled more compassionate care with patients. The wide geographical dispersal of staff and work pressures were challenges in attending Rounds, and strong leadership is needed to support their implementation.

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