Skip to Content

Coronavirus information for Feinberg.

Download the full-sized PDF of Family Meetings in the Intensive Care Unit During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic
Download the file


Download Analytics Citations

Export to: EndNote


This file is in the following collections:

COVID-19 Community

Family Meetings in the Intensive Care Unit During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic Open Access (recommended)


Resource type(s)
family meetings
intensive care unit
critical care
patient-physician communication
Attribution 4.0 International

Piscitello, Gina M.
Fukushima, Corinna M.
Saulitis, Anna K.
Tian, Katherine T.
Hwang, Jennifer
Gupta, Shreya
Sheldon, Mark
Purpose: Visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic limit in-person family meetings for hospitalized patients. We aimed to evaluate the quantity of family meetings by telephone, video and in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic by manual chart review. Secondary outcomes included rate of change in patient goals of care between video and in-person meetings, the timing of family meetings, and variability in meetings by race and ethnicity. Methods: A retrospective cohort study evaluated patients admitted to the intensive care unit at an urban academic hospital between March and June 2020. Patients lacking decision-making capacity and receiving a referral for a video meeting were included in this study. Results: Most patients meeting inclusion criteria (N = 61/481, 13%) had COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 57/61, 93%). A total of 650 documented family meetings occurred. Few occurred in-person (n = 70/650, 11%) or discussed goals of care (n = 233/650, 36%). For meetings discussing goals of care, changes in patient goals of care occurred more often for in-person meetings rather than by video (36% vs. 11%, p = 0.0006). The average time to the first goals of care family meeting was 11.4 days from admission. More documented telephone meetings per admission were observed for White (10.5, SD 9.5) and Black/African-American (7.1, SD 6.6) patients compared to Hispanic or Latino patients (4.9, SD 4.9) (p = 0.02). Conclusions: During this period of strict visitor restrictions, few family meetings occurred in-person. Statistically significant fewer changes in patient goals of care occurred following video meetings compared to in-person meetings, providing support limiting in-person meetings may affect patient care.
Original Bibliographic Citation
Piscitello GM, Fukushima CM, Saulitis AK, Tian KT, Hwang J, Gupta S, Sheldon M. Family Meetings in the Intensive Care Unit During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 2021;38(3):305-312.
Related URL
Date Created
Original Identifier
(PMID) 33207937
Subject: MESH
Intensive Care Units
Critical Care
Visitors to Patients
We are grateful for the support of Kathleen Egan LCSW, Erika Owen MS, LCSW, and William F Parker MD for their help with this manuscript.

File Details

File Properties
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 299.6 kB