Patients' and family members' perspectives on the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations in Dutch home healthcare

Susanne Broekema*, Wolter Paans, Alberta T. Oosterhoff, Petrie F. Roodbol, Marie Louise A. Luttik

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of this study is to propose a model of the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations in home healthcare from the perspective of participating patients and their family members. Family nursing conversations in this study are intended to optimise family functioning, improve collaboration between family and professional caregivers and ultimately prevent or reduce overburden of family caregivers. In a qualitative grounded theory design, data were collected in 2017 using intensive interviewing with participants of family nursing conversations in home healthcare. A total of 26 participants (9 patients and 17 family members) from 11 families participated in a family nursing conversation and the study. Seven nurses who received extensive education in family nursing conversations conducted them as part of their daily practice. Interviews occurred 4-6 weeks after the family nursing conversation. The model that was constructed in close collaboration with the families consists of three parts. The first part outlines working mechanisms of the conversation itself according to participants, i.e. structured and open communication about the care situation and the presence of all of the people who are involved. The second part consists of the benefits that participants experienced during and immediately after the conversation - an increased sense of overview and improved contact among the people involved - and the related working mechanisms. The last part consists of benefits that emerged in the weeks after the conversation - reduced caregiver burden and improved quality of care - and the related working mechanisms. Insight into the benefits and working mechanisms of family nursing conversations may assist healthcare professionals in their application of the intervention and provides directions for outcomes and processes to include in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
Early online date7-Jul-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021


  • family caregivers
  • family nursing
  • family support
  • family systems theory
  • grounded theory
  • home care

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