Objective: To search for evidence to answer the question: How do unrestricted visits affect patients, their families and healthcare professionals, as opposed to restricted visits? Method: Systemic review. Search strategy: 1993-2016 in Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs, EBSCO, PubMed, CINHAL, Trip DataBase, with Mesh terms and key words. Criteria for selecting articles: systematic reviews, randomized and nonrandomized clinical trials, cohort studies, control studies, descriptive correlational studies, ICU adults, Spanish and English. Collection and analysis: initial selection of 293 articles and a final selection of 13 articles for critical analysis after applying the selection criteria. The researchers used the CASPe guidelines to assess methodological quality. Results: Unrestricted visits do not increase risk of infection, patient’s anxiety is lower, nurses are more satisfied, family presence helps in patient recovery, families are better informed, more satisfied and have a better understanding of the situation. The frequency of cardiovascular complications is higher in patients with restricted visits. Conclusions: Unrestricted visits to the ICU do not harm the patient but instead contribute to their physical and emotional health.
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