Book Reviews -- the Nursing of Families: Theory/Research/Education/Practice Edited by Suzanne L. Feetham, Susan B. Meister, Janice M. Bell and Catherine L. Gillis

Article excerpt

Feetham, Suzanne L., Meister, Susan B., Bell, Janice M., & Gillis, Catherine L. (Eds.). (1993). The Nursing of Families: Theory/Research/Education/Practice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 308 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-8039-4715-1, price $45.00; paper ISBN 0-8039-4716-X, price $19.95.

This book on the nursing of families features selected papers from the Second International Family Nursing Conference (1991) held at my school, Oregon Health Science University School of Nursing in Portland.

I will summarize the highlights of this important book. Its purported purpose is to "provide significant directions for crosscutting issues in practice, education, research, and theory to bridge the gaps between perceived needs and expectations of families and the practice of nursing of families" (p. xiii). This book accomplishes this purpose.

The book consists of seven sections containing a number of chapters which were edited, written, or coauthored by one of the four editors. Section I, "Social Policy Issues," addresses the interactions of social policy, families and nursing, and how they affect family outcomes. Section II, "Theoretical Issues," notes that three theoretical approaches are commonly used in family nursing: (a) borrowed/reformulated theory, (b) inductive theory derived from clinical practice, and (c) deductive testing of nursing models. Family nursing theory development is seen to be in its infancy, and the authors conclude that there are significant shortcomings in the systematic building of family nursing science. Examples of deductive and inductive approaches to family nursing theory development are also presented.

Section III describes a few examples of methodological issues in family nursing research such as qualitative strategies, subject recruitment and sampling, alternative methods of scoring family derived data, and exploratory data analysis. Section IV consists of four papers relevant to nursing practice: challenging the relevance of the North American Nursing Diagnostic Associations' (NANDA) classification system, describing the nurse's role in ethical decision making with families, presenting a framework for family assessment, and describing the use of nursing clinical ladders to formalize professional and family partnerships in hospitals. …