Partnership nursing: influences on involvement of informal carers

Authors

  • Anne Casey RSCN RGN DipN DipNEd MSc

    Corresponding author
    1. Formerly Research and Development Nurse, Department of Nursing, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London, England
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Anne Casey, Senior Nursing Coding Consultant, NHS, Centre for Coding and Classification Woodgate Loughborough LE11 2TG, England.

Abstract

Factors influencing family involvement in the care of children in hospital were explored in a survey of 243 inpatients in two hospitals Eighty-five per cent of the children were receiving some or all of their care from a family member, usually the mother Significant influences on the amount and type of involvement included acuity, type of illness, length of stay and the language spoken by the family Other social factors, such as distance from the hospital, number of dependent siblings, social class and ethnicity were not significant influencing factors in this population The influence of language on involvement, and conclusions from related literature, suggest that characteristics of the interaction such as communication and nursing style are more significant than social structural factors A typology of nursing approaches to informal carers is proposed which could apply beyond the paediatric context Further work is needed to test the hypothesis that such approaches are characterized by nurses excluding the carer, or permitting, making assumptions about, or negotiating carer involvement

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