Working with families in community services: multi-disciplinary perceptions of working with children and their parents

Wendy Smyth, Rose Kruze, Abdulla A Mamun, Andrew White, Linda Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Family-centred care is well known in community child health, but in previous studies, staff in acute paediatrics felt more positive about working with children than with parents.
Aims: To test perceptions of health professionals in community child health, about working with children and parents. Methods: Forty-eight community child health staff in regional Australia completed the "Working with Families" questionnaire.
Findings: Mean scores (1 lowest-5 highest): working with children: 4.29 (CI 4.06, 4.51); with parents 3.90 (CI 3.68, 4.12); mean difference -0.39 (CI -0.54, 0.23; p < 0.001). No significant relationship occurred between scores and demographics. Discussion: Staff in this small sample were more positive about working with children than working with parents. People work in child health because they like children, but if family-centred care was effectively implemented no such difference would occur. Implications for practice: Staff in community child health require support and education about family-centred care.
Conclusion: Family-centred care is the cornerstone of community child health. Staff in this small sample were more positive about working with children than parents, suggesting problems with its implementation. Improvements are required in how health professionals perceive their role in supporting and caring for children and families to achieve family-centred care. This study needs replication with a larger sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalNeonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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