Neonatal nurses' perspectives of family-centred care: A qualitative study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2012, 21 (17-18), pp. 2477 - 2487
Issue Date:
2012-09-01
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Aims and objectives. The aim of this study is to explore neonatal nurses' perspectives of their role in facilitating family centred care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Background. The philosophy of family centred care focuses on the health and wellbeing of the newborn and their family, through the development of a respectful partnership between the health care professional and the infant's parents. Many studies report family centred care in the context of paediatric care; however, few studies explore neonatal nurses' perspective of family centred care in the context of neonatal care. Design. Qualitative interpretative approach. Methods. Four focus groups and five individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with neonatal intensive care nurses (total n=33) currently practicing in a tertiary Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Australia. Each focus group and face to face interview was audio-taped and transcribed. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results. Four dominant themes emerged from the data: (1) Getting to know parents and their wishes (2) Involving family in the day to day care (3) Finding a 'happy' medium (4) Transitioning support across the continuum. Conclusion. These findings revealed a general understanding of family centred care principles. Nurses reported the potential benefits and challenges of adopting a family centred care approach to deliver optimal care for neonates and their families. The study highlighted that nurses need ongoing organisation support, guidance and further education to assist them in delivering family centred care effectively. Relevance to clinical practice. Family centred care is a central tenet underpinning neonatal care. Understanding neonatal nurses' perspectives will be useful when developing strategies to strengthen family centred care in the neonatal intensive care unit, and potentially improve neonatal care and family outcomes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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