How is Family Centered Care Perceived by Healthcare Providers from Different Countries? An International Comparison Study

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Family-centered care (FCC) is a healthcare delivery model in which planning care for a child incorporates the entire family. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare how healthcare providers from three countries with varied cultural and healthcare systems perceive the concept FCC by measuring attitudes, and to psychometrically identify a measure that would reflect “family-centeredness.”

Design and Methods:

The Working with Families questionnaire, translated when appropriate, was used to capture participants' perceptions of caring for hospitalized children and their parents from pediatric healthcare providers in the United States, Australia and Turkey (n = 476).


The results indicated significantly more positive attitudes reported for working with children than parents for all countries and individual score differences across countries: the U.S. and Turkey child scores were significantly higher than Australia, whereas the U.S. and Australia parent scores were both significantly higher than Turkey.


Perceptions of working with families were different for nurses from the three countries that call for a clearer understanding about perceptions in relation to delivery systems. Further analyses revealed FCS scores to be significantly different between nurses and physicians and significantly correlated with age, number of children and education.

Practice Implications:

The results of this study add to our understanding of influences on practice from different countries and healthcare systems. The FCS score may be useful to determine baseline beliefs and ascertain effectiveness of interventions designed to improve FCC implementation.

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