Adding kindness at handover to improve our collegiality: the K‐ISBAR tool

Alarna Thomas, Katrina L Calvert and Brendan Jansen
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50256
Published online: 15 July 2019

To the Editor: We read with interest the article by Brewster and Waxman1 published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Building kindness and collegiality into regular handover practice is an obligation of increasing urgency in contemporary medical settings. Clinical handover is often led by junior medical staff and can be perceived as a stressful time for them. Junior doctors have expressed fears regarding public approbation as a contributory factor for stress and burnout.2 Obstetric junior doctors within our own tertiary maternity hospital responding to the Australian Medical Association of Western Australia Hospital Health Check survey reported high levels of stress.3 Ultimately, handover is likely to be a precipitating event for stress and anxiety in this group, and addressing psychological wellbeing during this time will have benefits to both staff and patients.4

  • King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, WA.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Brewster DJ, Waxman BP. Adding kindness at handover to improve our collegiality: the K‐ISBAR tool. Med J Aust 2018; 209: 482–483.
  • 2. Askew DA, Schulter PJ, Dick ML, et al. Bullying in the Australian medical workforce: cross sectional data from an Australian e‐cohort study. Aust Health Rev 2012; 36: 197–204.
  • 3. Australian Medical Association of WA Doctors In Training Committee. Australian Medical Association of WA hospital health check 2018, King Edward Memorial Hospital. Perth: AMA WA, 2018. (viewed June 2018).
  • 4. Scheepers RA, Boerebach BC, Arah OA, et al. A systematic review of the impact of physicians’ occupational well‐being on the quality of patient care. Int J Behav Med 2015; 22: 683–698.
  • 5. Chin GS, Warren N, Kornman L, et al. Transferring responsibility and accountability in maternity care: clinicians defining their boundaries of practice in relation to clinical handover. BMJ Open 2012; 2: 1–9.


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