Experiences of neonatal nurses and parents working collaboratively to enhance family centred care: The destiny phase of an appreciative inquiry project

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Collegian, 2016, 23 (3), pp. 265 - 273
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© 2015 Australian College of Nursing Ltd Aim The aim of this paper is to report on the process and experiences of neonatal nurses and parents who worked collaboratively in an appreciative inquiry (AI) project to enhance family centred care (FCC) in the neonatal unit with a focus on the destiny phase. Background The concept of FCC is internationally recognised as an ideal way of caring for hospitalised children however, research suggests health professionals experience difficulties integrating FCC principles into daily practice. A fundamental principle of FCC is the need to develop respectful partnerships between health professionals and parents of infants requiring neonatal care. AI offers a positive, strength based, participatory approach that promotes organisational learning and positive organisational change. AI facilitates change from the ground up and lends itself to building effective sustainable partnerships and collaborations. Design Qualitative interpretive approach. Methods Two focus groups (4 neonatal nurses in the first group and 2 neonatal nurses, 1 physiotherapist and 1 occupational therapist in the second) and four individual face-to-face interviews were conducted (2 neonatal nurses and 2 parents of infants previously discharged from the neonatal unit) (total n = 12). Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Data analysis revealed four key themes: ‘creating a physical and mental space’, ‘building and maintaining momentum’, ‘ongoing organisational support’ and ‘continuing collaborations’. Conclusion Parents and health care professionals worked collaboratively to facilitate FCC. Implications for future practice/research AI provides a framework that enables parent–nurse collaboration needed to develop action plans that can form the catalyst for organisational change in health care research and practice.
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