Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

The Meaning of Family Nursing Intervention: What Do Acute Care Nurses Think?

Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

The Meaning of Family Nursing Intervention: What Do Acute Care Nurses Think?

Article excerpt

Understanding the concept of family nursing intervention from the perspective of practicing nurses is essential for implementing a family-centered approach in the acute care context. Data from this qualitative study were analyzed using a colloquial concept analysis method derived from Rodgers' evolutionary theory. Five main attributes of family nursing interventions were identified. Family nursing interventions were viewed as a time-limited, collaborative process, initiated and/or facilitated by nurses and directed at either the individual or the family to solve problems. The antecedents of family nursing interventions were "family assessment," "the presence of a family-related problem," "willingness to participate (provider and family)" and a "supportive organizational structure." The most common consequences (outcomes) were identified as positive (good) or negative (bad) individual or family-related outcomes following a family nursing intervention. The analysis suggests that family nursing interventions are essential but variable in nature within nursing practice. In addition, the analysis implies a need for further inquiry in diverse settings to define the concept and test relationships between the antecedents and outcomes to advance nurses' translational knowledge of culturally appropriate family nursing interventions.

Keywords: family nursing intervention; acute care nursing; colloquial analysis; evolutionary theory

The term nursing intervention is used interchangeably with several other terms including nursing actions, orders, treatments, measures, therapies, strategies (Snyder, Egan, & Nojima, 1996), activities, moves, micromoves, and therapeutics (Wright & Leahey, 2013). As a concept, nursing intervention has been evolving in both variety and complexity since the Nightingale era. The use of the term nursing intervention continues to attract the worldwide attention of nurses as the need for delineating standardized interventions and expected outcome measures increases with the globalization of the profession.

According to the International Council of Nursing (ICN, 2013), standardization efforts are essential if nursing interventions are to be incorporated within the World Health Organization International Classification of Health Intervention guidelines, similar to the International Classification for Nursing Practice (2013), which ICN developed as a generic system that can be used by nurses around the world to standardize nursing documentation at the point of care. In addition, nursing organizations around the world have joined forces with the ICN to develop a system that can better assist nurses in implementation and evaluation of health outcomes (ICN, 2013). In the United States, the National Intervention Classification and National Outcome Classification are highly developed and recognized worldwide as resources to guide nursing practice (University of Iowa, 2014). Prior to inclusion of nursing interventions with families (also referred to as family nursing interventions) into these standardized informational systems, further conceptual clarity is required related to the definition and structure of the concept as it relates to nursing practice.

The term family nursing intervention has not been clearly conceptualized or operationalized in nursing. Taken literally, the term family intervention lacks a match in the commonly used dictionaries (Oxford and Merriam Webster) and thesauri. However, a recent exploration of discipline-specific literature revealed significant and distinct explanations of family interventions (Eustace, 2013). From a theoretical standpoint, nursing interventions with families has been grounded in two family nursing prescriptive models: the Calgary family intervention model (CFIM) by Wright and Leahey (2005) and the family assessment and intervention model (FAIM) by Berkey and Hanson (1991).

The CFIM focuses on nurses' interventions to change the cognitive, affective, or behavioral domains of family functioning. …

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