Integration of Parent and Nurse Perspectives of Communication to Plan Care for Technology Dependent Children: The Theory of Shared Communication

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to expand our understanding of the process of communication between parents of hospitalized technology dependent children and their nurses originally detailed in the Theory of Shared Communication (TSC).

Design and Methods

This grounded theory study was conducted with five parents of technology dependent children hospitalized in a large Midwestern children's hospital and nine nurses who care for technology dependent children admitted to the same hospital during July and August 2013. Semi-structured interviews and journals (parents only), field notes and a demographic survey were used to collect data which was analyzed using constant comparative analysis.

Results

Parents verified the concepts of the TSC and relationships among them. Nurses' perceptions of communication with parents reflected the same parent identified and verified concepts upon which the TSC was originally grounded including respect for own and other's expertise, asking, listening, explaining, advocating, verifying understanding and negotiating roles to achieve mutual understanding of the child's plan of care. The nurses' perceptions differed stylistically but not categorically from those of the parents.

Conclusions

The addition of the nurse's perspectives to the verified TSC expands our understanding of this process of communication.

Practice Implications

With the integration of nurse and parent perspectives, the TSC can be used to enhance communication and care for hospitalized technology dependent children and their families.

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