Identification of nurse-family intervention sites to decrease health-related family boundary ambiguity in PICU

Patricia S Tomlinson, Paula Swiggum, Bonnie Lee Harbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The most common explanation of parental stress associated with hospitalized children is based on individual stress theory. Using a family stress and family systems approach with an emphasis on examining family integrity, this qualitative study selected families in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with high boundary ambiguity in the caregiving environment and identified potential sites for nursing actions that impede or assist families in maintaining family integrity. Within three days of admission of their child to a major tertiary children's hospital PICU, 29 families were recruited and screened with a Health-Related Family Boundary Ambiguity Scale. High scoring families (n = 11) were interviewed using an open-ended method. Data were analyzed using a content analysis method, and results were interpreted within a family systems framework. The following three potential areas of intervention to encourage family integrity during acute illness of a child were identified: fostering family normalcy, respecting family rights, and strengthening the family boundary. Implications for initiating or improving family centered care in the PICU are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

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