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Nursing issues
Tick box cultures and systematised practices may prevent nurses fulfilling their roles as compassionate caregivers
  1. Amanda J Lee
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull Faculty of Health Sciences, Hull, Humberside, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amanda J Lee, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull Faculty of Health and Social Care, Hull HU6 7RX, UK; A.J.Lee{at}

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Commentary on: Sims S, Leamy M, Levenson R, et al. The delivery of compassionate nursing care in a tick-box culture: Qualitative perspectives from a realist evaluation of intentional rounding. Int J Nurs Stud 2020;107:103580.

Implications for practice and research

  • Prescriptive ‘intentional rounding’ to systematically assert clinical nursing interactions does not facilitate ‘compassionate care’.

  • Nursing research must interrogate implementation of strategies which assert ‘tick box cultures’, and ensure that such initiatives are evidence based.


Compassion sits at the heart of nursing as one of the fundamental characteristics of the profession.1 It captures empathy, dignity, kindness, respect, morals and virtues, and is contextually dependent on personal, social and cultural viewpoints. In response to calls of neglect and failure to meet basic physiological needs in one UK Hospital Trust, the Francis report,2 concluded ‘regular interactions’ between nurses and patients should be systematic and documented to underpin ‘compassionate …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.