Promoting Family Integrity to Inspire Hope in Rehabilitation Patients: Strategies to Provide Evidence-Based Care


  • Donald D. Kautz PhD RN CNRN CRRN-A,

    Corresponding author
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    • Donald D. Kautz, PhD RN CNRN CRRN-A, is an assistant professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina—Greensboro School of Nursing, Adult Health Department, Greensboro, NC.

  • Elizabeth Van Horn PhD RN CCRN

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    • Elizabeth Van Horn, PhD RN CCRN, is an assistant professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in Greensboro, NC.


The disability of one family member who requires inpatient rehabilitation care can negatively affect all family members and ultimately disrupt family integrity. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how promoting family integrity also promotes hope when families are confronted with a newly disabled teen or adult. Current research findings indicate that rehabilitation nurses are in a key position to promote hope and family integrity by facilitating open communication between family members, fostering a tone of togetherness within and among families, and helping families resolve feelings of guilt and move toward forgiveness. These strategies are based on activities from the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) intervention “Family Integrity Promotion.” This article presents a review of research to support these NIC activities and offers practical suggestions so rehabilitation nurses can incorporate these strategies into their daily practice with patients and their family members.