Nurses' perceptions of family centred care in the neonatal intensive care: a review of availble instruments




Backlin, Colleen

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The practice of neonatology has evolved significantly since I first started my nursing career just over 20 years ago. Great strides have been made in the way that we care for our often very tiny patients. Not only have we become more aware of the long term physical effects that a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay can carry for infants and children, but we are also more cognizant of the psychological, social, and emotional risks that result from hospitalization. Recognition of the importance of family in the lives of these children has grown alongside the many technological advances that have taken place in the care of ill newborns. Family centred care (FCC) is purported to be best practice in healthcare, particularly in the care of infants and children (Abraham, 2012; Jolley and Shields, 2009). While I believe that there is a desire on the part of neonatal nurses to provide excellent care to their patients, full implementation of the principles of FCC has not yet become daily practice in many NICUs. In this paper I provide a brief overview of FCC and some of the historical background that has influenced the development of FCC practices. The perceived benefits, the challenges, and the divergent views of FCC will be discussed. I report on an integrated literature review that I conducted to identify existing instruments that are designed to measure nurses’ perceptions and practices of FCC. Finally, I will provide rationale for the choice of instrument that I feel is most appropriate for use in my clinical setting.



nursing, family centered care, neonatal intensive care