Nurses Beliefs And Attitudes Towards Visiting Policy In The Intensive Care Units Of Ghanaian Hospitals

Yakubu H. Yakubu, Maryam Esmaeilie, Elham Navab


Background: Research and evidence supporting open and liberalized visiting policy has resulted in many hospitals adopting these policies. But, ICU nurses’ beliefs and attitudes about flexible and open visiting policy vary. Hence open visitation has not always been implemented by nurses who are the ward owners. It is vital to evaluate nurses’ beliefs about and attitudes towards visiting policy. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional quantitative survey was conducted in 4 public hospitals in Ghana, with a sample of 140 nurses. Data were collected with a validated scale – BAVIQ to assess the nurses’ beliefs and attitudes toward visitation. Results: Generally, nurses’ preferred restricted visiting policy based on their attitudes however, the beliefs of nurses about visiting policy were skeptical (neither agree nor disagree). The study also showed a meaningful relationship between nurses’ beliefs and their sex (p=0.02), experience (p= 0.00), educational level (p= 0.00), employment status (p=0.00) and executive position (p=0.00). It also indicated a meaningful relationship between nurses’ attitudes and their sex (p=0.00), experience (p=0.00), educational level (p=0.00), and executive position (p=0.00). Chi - square was used to compute the test. Conclusions: Based on the findings, ICU nurses’ beliefs and attitudes toward visitation support the universal concern of restricted visiting policy in Ghana. These are important factors in the implementation of flexible visiting policy in the intensive care units; the beneficial effects of open visiting policy for the nurse, the patient and the family because it enhances patient centered care and optimal health. Therefore the need for drafting a protocol and guidelines for intensive care units visiting policy in Ghana is recommended. A qualitative research in specific areas of visiting policy is recommended.


Nurse, Beliefs, Attitudes, Visiting policy, Intensive care unit, Hospital, Ghana

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