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Published: 25 Jun, 2019

The implementation of a family-centred approach in home health care

NEWS It is possible to use a web-based programme to train district nurses and nurses in family-centred conversations. This is demonstrated by Susanna Pusa of the Industrial Doctoral School in her thesis, which she will be defending at Umeå University on May 31. An increased awareness of how family members affect each other and their significance for each other can develop the approach to families, resulting in an increased focus on (and awareness of) strengths and resources within the family.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

“It is also necessary that society, politicians and the management of different health care institutions recognise the value of working in a family-centred way, and create opportunities for the training of nurses during working hours,” says Susanna Pusa, a doctoral student at the Department of Nursing and the Industrial Doctoral School at Umeå University.

The overall aim of Susanna Pusa’s thesis was to shed light on how district nurses and nurses serving families living at home experienced relational support, and to evaluate the implementation of family support through family-centred conversations. This means that the thesis largely focuses on how research-based knowledge of family-centred nursing can be introduced into clinical activities in order to improve the care of families with a person dependent on assistance and care who lives in her/his own home.

“The results indicate that the district nurses and nurses who participated in the web-based training programme in family-centred nursing experienced renewed ways of thinking and approaching this issue, in which they focussed on the families as a whole, rather than just on the patient, as they have traditionally done,” says Susanna Pusa.

Furthermore, the studies showed that the introduction of family-centred conversations remained ongoing, although they had not been implemented exactly as intended. The district nurses and nurses did not always base the conversations on the intended conversational structure. However, they employed the family-centred approach in their daily work, in meetings and conversations with families. They applied an approach whereby they worked more inclusively with families, with an increased awareness of the importance of focussing on the whole family and the interaction between family members.

Support from managers and within working groups, continuous competence development and mutual understanding were important aspects of the successful introduction of family-centred conversations.

Susanna Pusa has been a registered nurse since 2008, and has previously worked as a nurse in the fields of medicine, surgery, palliative care and home health care.

Read the thesis digitally


About the Industrial Doctoral School for Research and Innovation

The Industrial Doctoral School was founded in 2008 and is based on collaboration between universities, researchers and companies or organisations. It aims to combine scientific excellence with benefits for both society and the collaborating organisation. Together, a long-term collaboration is established, based around a problem that requires exploration. The doctoral student also receives a customised academic course package. The Industrial Doctoral School is open to all areas of research, and the doctoral student is employed at Umeå University.

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