Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Yvonne Ford

Second Advisor

Anita Heyman

Third Advisor

Sally Vliem


Background and Significance: Fear, anxiety, and apprehension can have a profound effect upon patient outcomes, possibly leading to a worsened health condition or delay in recovery. Current literature finds that communication and social support by the nursing staff may foster patients’ understanding of their care and their experiences of feeling safe. The bedside handoff is one way of enhancing communication and providing support within nurse patient interactions. The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of bedside handoffs on patients’ perceived fear, anxiety, and apprehension.

Methods: A secondary analysis was performed upon a larger quantitative data set from two studies that were designed to identify inpatients’ perceptions of bedside handoffs. Data analysis focused upon the following variables from the original studies: frequency of bedside handoff, the degree to which bedside handoff made patients feel safe, patients’ reports of fear, anxiety, or apprehension, and the degree to which patients reported that bedside handoff relieved fear, anxiety, or apprehension. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, independent-samples t-tests, paired-samples t-tests, and one-way analysis of variance were conducted to summarize the data and identify significant relationships between variables.

Results: Preliminary findings illustrate that bedside handoff shows some benefit in reducing patient reported fear, anxiety, and apprehension and a great benefit in helping patients feel safe within the hospital setting, but only when it is implemented consistently.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the benefits patients receive from being informed, participating in their care, and communicating with the nursing staff throughout the hospital experience. However, current practice indicates that fear may continue to hinder patients from receiving the full benefit of interventions, and nurses may use this knowledge to identify and provide further care for these patients.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access