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  1. Abdoljavad Khajavi1,2,
  2. Reza Esmaeili1,
  3. Seyed Farzin Mircheraghi2,
  4. Mitra Tavakolizadeh2
  1. 1Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, 22-Bahman Teaching Hospital, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran


Background and aims: It is difficult to find a commonly agreed upon definition for Very Important Persons (VIPs) or VIP patients as the concept has minimal representation in the medical literature. Caring for VIP patients, however, can challenge standard professional routines and approaches to healthcare delivery, can affect staff's professionalism, and may be disorienting for a health care system. This scoping review aims to explore the terminology in use in relation to health care delivery to VIP patients in hospitals, as well as to elicit how particular terms are used, by whom and for what purpose.

Methods: A scoping study was conducted using the ‘Arksey and O'Malley’ framework. We were considered any empirical and non-empirical studies for inclusion. Four electronic databases including Ovid MEDLINE, EBSCO CINAHL, SciVerse Scopus and Google Scholar were searched for English language articles, without any other limitations. Study selection and data extraction were performed by two independent reviewers using pretested forms. A thematic construction was used to provide an overview of the breadth of the literature, and a numerical analysis of the extent and nature of studies was presented.

Results: A total of 71 publications of potential interest were identified, and 31 studies were selected and included in the review for analysis. All of the studies were non-empirical including overview (1), narrative review (1), and the others (29) were editorials, commentaries, brief report, CME, case study, or qualitative study design. The thematic analysis identified four themes: the first concerned the definition of VIP patients (individuals with wealth, fame, or power) in health care settings. The second theme highlighted the potential ethical and medicolegal issues in the care of the VIP patients. The third theme considered the concept of ‘VIP syndrome’, i.e., general effect of VIP patients on delivery of care. The final theme indicated the need for evaluation of VIP policy in health care delivery settings.

Conclusion: This scoping review of the literature demonstrates little peer-reviewed evidence on the opportunities and threats of VIP policy implementation in hospitals. Besides, the emergent themes together indicate a number of important directions for future research.

  • Very Important Person
  • VIP
  • VIP Patients
  • Delivery of Health care
  • Hospitals
  • Scoping Review

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