European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 178, Issue 5, pp 607–622 | Cite as

Humanization interventions in general pediatric wards: a systematic review

  • Marina Tripodi
  • Maria Anna Siano
  • Claudia Mandato
  • Anna Giulia Elena De Anseris
  • Paolo Quitadamo
  • Salvatore Guercio Nuzio
  • Paolo Siani
  • Pietro VajroEmail author


Humanization of care (HOC) interventions have rarely been evaluated and compared. We systematically reviewed the outcomes of published interventions aimed to improve the HOC for hospitalized children. PubMed and Scopus were used as data sources. Studies published between January 1, 2000, and February 28, 2018, were considered eligible if they reported analysis of results vs. either a control group or baseline, or if they measured patient/family/staff satisfaction. Neonatal age, emergency departments, and subspecialty settings were excluded. Data were extracted using a standardized data extraction form including study design, sample size, intervention, outcome/objective, and evaluation of results or pre- post-intervention satisfaction. Twenty-eight of the 12,012 retrieved articles met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were of moderate to low quality. Only six studies were of high quality. Areas of interest dealt with environment (n = 4), provider–patient relationship (n = 6), pet therapy (n = 5), technology (n = 5), family-centered rounds (n = 2), psychological support (n = 3), and staff training (n = 3). The overall trend of the results indicated that interventions were mostly effective and likely to have beneficial effects on several aspects of pediatric hospitalization.

Conclusions: Pending further studies of better research quality, the findings of this review may have policy and practice implications for planning HOC interventions by pediatric healthcare professionals.

What is Known:

• In pediatrics, humanization of care (HOC) provides assistance focused not only on the child as a patient, but on the whole family.

• HOC programs have been developed, but information on the overall outcome of local projects aiming to improve in a practical way the hospital taking charge of pediatric patients is still lacking.

What is New:

• Local HOC interventions are mostly effective and have beneficial effects on several aspects of hospitalization in general pediatrics wards.

• The findings of this review may have practice implications for planning HOC interventions by pediatric healthcare professionals.


Humanization of care Pediatric hospitalization Humanization models Pediatric care 



Family-centered care


Family-centered rounds


Humanization of care


Patient and family-centered care


Social determinants of health


Shared decision-making


Authors’ Contributions

Marina Tripodi, Maria Anna Siano, and Claudia Mandato: Drs. Tripodi, Siano, and Mandato participated in the development of the systematic review and equally contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Anna Giulia Elena De Anseris, Paolo Quitadamo, and Salvatore Guercio Nuzio: Drs. De Anseris, Quitadamo, and Guercio Nuzio worked at specific sections of the literature search.

Pietro Vajro: Prof Vajro conceived and monitored the study quality as the senior author.

Paolo Siani and Pietro Vajro: Dr. Siani and Prof. Vajro supervised the design and execution of the study, performed the final data analyses, and contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.


This study received partial funding by the Region Campania Project for Pediatric Humanization Care Intervention [11 October 2014 Decree no. 105 (13 October 2014 BURC no. 70)].

Compliance with ethical statements

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

431_2019_3370_MOESM1_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Table S1 Key words used for Pubmed and Scopus search (DOC 32 kb)
431_2019_3370_MOESM2_ESM.doc (101 kb)
Table S2 Classification of studies according to Quality Rating Scheme( [10] (DOC 101 kb)
431_2019_3370_MOESM3_ESM.doc (78 kb)
Figure S1 Work covered in the PUBMED- Scopus database years 2000–2018 (DOC 78 kb)
431_2019_3370_MOESM4_ESM.ppt (610 kb)
Figure S2 Categorization of the studies related to components of pediatric Humanization of Care emerged from our systematic review (PPT 610 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry “Scuola Medica Salernitana”, Pediatrics SectionUniversity of SalernoBaronissiItaly
  2. 2.Systematic Pediatrics AORN “Santobono-Pausilipon”80122 NaplesItaly
  3. 3.Pediatrics/ClinicalPediatricsUniversity Hospital “San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’Aragona”84131 SalernoItaly

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