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Communication: Principal barrier to nurse–consumer partnerships


Diana Keatinge, Faculty of Nursing, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, 2308, New South Wales, Australia. Email:


An 8-month pilot study conducted in urban, rural and remote areas of Australia sought to identify barriers to nurse– consumer partnerships, as well as strategies to overcome these barriers. One hundred and ninety-nine Registered Nurses (RNs) and 36 consumers participated across 14 workshops to collect data for the pilot study. Analysis of these data found that nurses' perceptions of partnership with consumers were diverse. Nevertheless, participants in the workshops identified ‘communication’ as the principal barrier to nurse–consumer partnerships. Contexts in which communication barriers occur grouped easily under the themes of information transfer, documentation, education, personal and interpersonal situations, guidelines and policy, organizational structures, politics, resources and time. Workshop participants also worked together to identify/recommend strategies through which the most important barriers to communication in nurse– consumer partnerships could be addressed.