How Does a Group Reflection Intervention (Schwartz Rounds) Work within Healthcare Undergraduate Settings? A Realist Review

Cath Taylor
Duncan Hamilton
Jill Maben
Soort article
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Introduction: Schwartz Rounds (“Rounds”) are a confidential group reflection forum, increasingly adopted to support pre-registration healthcare students. This realist review aims to understand what the available literature and key informant interviews can tell us about Rounds in this setting, asking what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why?

Methods: Published literature discussing Rounds in undergraduate settings were analysed using realist methods to describe how, for whom and in which contexts Rounds work. Four key informants were interviewed using realist methods, to further develop, test and refine a programme theory of Rounds in undergraduate settings.

Results: We identified five core features and five contextual adaptations.

Core: Rounds provide a reflective space to discuss emotional challenges; Rounds promote an open and humanised professional culture; Rounds offer role-modelling of vulnerability, enabling interpersonal connectedness; Rounds are impactful when focused on emotional and relational elements; Rounds offer reflective insights from a wide range of perspectives.

Contextual adaptations: Rounds allow reflection to be more engaging for students when they are non-mandatory; perceptions of safety within a Round varies based on multiple factors; adapting timing and themes to students’ changing needs may improve engagement; resonance with stories is affected by clinical experience levels; online adaptation can increase reach but may risk psychological safety.

Discussion: Schwartz Rounds are a unique intervention that can support healthcare students through their pre-registration education. The five “core” and five “contextual adaptation” features presented identify important considerations for organisations implementing Rounds for their undergraduates.


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