Working in partnership with parents: The experience and challenge of practice innovation in child and family health nursing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2012, 21 (21-22), pp. 3306 - 3314
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Aims and objectives. This study investigated what Family Partnership Model practice means in the day-to-day practice of child and family health nurses working with parents. Background. The Family Partnership Model has been widely implemented in child and family health services in Australia and New Zealand, with limited understanding of the implications for nursing practice. Design. A qualitative interpretive study design was used. Method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 nurse participants, who had completed the Family Partnership Model training programme. Subsequent focus groups enabled these participants to validate the themes identified in the initial analysis and to confirm that the nurses concurred with the issues raised. Thematic content analysis produced rich descriptions and explanation of nurses' experiences and perspectives. Results. Four themes emerged from the analysis: experience of changing practices, exploring with parents, challenging unhelpful constructions and a commitment to examining practice. Conclusion. Overall, the participants embraced the use of the Family Partnership Model, providing examples of change and increasing confidence in their approach to working with parents. Relevance to clinical practice. This study demonstrates that the effective utilisation of the Family Partnership Model in nursing practice is a more complex and dynamic process than simply embracing the model. There are significant challenges to be negotiated when implementing new ways of working with parents, particularly questioning existing dominant forms of practice for nurses, managers and wider health organisations, and their clients. This paper also raises issues about sustaining practice innovation, which extends beyond the best intent of individual nurses, requiring receptive organisational conditions and leadership. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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