Dr. Walter works at the intersection of clinical practice and bioethics with an emphasis on the physician-patient relationship, interprofessional teamwork, and family-centered care. Her current research focuses on facilitating and improving communication between the healthcare team and families of children with chronic and terminal illness.
Dr. Walter has led a randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of continuity intensivists on patient and family outcomes in the pediatric intensive care unit and is currently leading a study in the cardiac intensive care unit to improve teamwork and family preparation for family meetings. Her goal is to evaluate primary palliative care interventions for interprofessional teams of clinicians working with seriously ill patients.
Her other work has characterized how children die within the hospital and the kind of exposure pediatric residents have to death during their training as well as the impact that palliative care plays on pediatric death.
In addition, Dr. Walter has provided a theoretical foundation and pragmatic steps for how clinicians can improve their decision support of patients/parents of seriously ill children. Dr. Walter's work also includes empirical analysis of the boundaries of ethical interactions between physicians and their patients, as well as the analysis of factors influencing vulnerable subjects' participation in clinical research.