Table 4

Synthesis plan and anticipated outputs for the two research questions of a scoping review investigating the impact of restricted visitation policies in hospitals enacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients, family members and healthcare providers of hospitalised patients, and the approaches that have been taken to mitigate impact

Research questionMethodQuestions or steps to guide synthesisAnticipated outputs
1. To identify the impacts of restricted hospital visitation policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic on patients, family members or healthcare providers of hospitalised patientsWe will categorise or ‘chart’ the impacts reported in each of the included studies using specific questions to guide the synthesis
We will synthesise perspectives and experiences related to each impact reported in each of the included studies using thematic analysis
  1. What is the general description of the impact?

  2. What types of evidence can be synthesised for each impact?

  3. Coding of text line-by-line

  4. Development of descriptive themes

  5. Generation of analytical themes

We identified ‘X’ articles that reported ‘Y’ impact and of these, ‘Z’ were conducted in: (1) hospitals with highly restrictive vs less restrictive visitor policies, and (2) patients with COVID-19-positive vs COVID-19-negative
A framework of evidence across diverse and variable populations.
Categorisation of methods used to assess each impact to reveal what research evidence is available for each impact
An in-depth synthesis of results and insights reported from primary studies to generate new interpretive constructs, explanations or hypotheses on impacts to patients, family members or healthcare providers
2. To identify approaches that have been taken to mitigate impact on patients, family members or healthcare providersWe will categorise articles that specifically explain approaches that have been taken to mitigate impact
We will synthesise perspectives and experiences related to each approach reported in each of the included studies using thematic analysis
  1. What are the specific steps to conducting the approach?

  2. Was the approach empirically derived (ie, through observation or experiment) or theoretically derived?

  3. Are the steps for the approach operationalised (ie, reproducible)?

  4. What is the minimum expertise required to implement the approach? Are particular skills required?

  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

  6. Is the approach generalisable and feasibly applied to other contexts?

  7. Coding of text line-by-line

  8. Development of descriptive themes

  9. Generation of analytical themes

An in-depth comparison of approaches that have been taken to mitigate impact
A bibliography of articles that describe how to conduct approaches to mitigate impact
An in-depth synthesis of results and insights reported from primary studies to generate new interpretive constructs, explanations or hypotheses on approaches to mitigate impact on patients, family members or healthcare providers