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Parents' and nurses' experiences of partnership in neonatal intensive care units: a qualitative review and meta-synthesis

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore how parents and nurses experience partnership in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and to identify existing barriers and facilitators to a successful partnership.

BACKGROUND: Family-centered care (FCC) is recommended as a frame of reference for treatment and care in NICUs. A key element in FCC is partnership. Such partnerships are characterised by complex interpersonal relationships and interactions between nurses and parents/families. Partnerships therefore appear to present a significant challenge.

DESIGN: A qualitative review and meta-synthesis.

METHODS: Comprehensive searching in ten databases: Cinahl, Pubmed (MEDLINE), Embase, PsycInfo, Scopus and Swemed+, Opengrey, MedNar, Google Scholar and ProQuest Dissertations & Thesis Global. A total of 1,644 studies (after removal of duplicates) were critically assessed and 21 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A meta-aggregation was used to synthesise the findings from the studies. Methodically quality assessed with QUARI/SUMARI and PRISMA.

FINDINGS: Through a meta-aggregative approach two synthesised findings were developed: 1) co-creation of mutual knowledge and 2) developing competencies and negotiating roles. The first synthesis embraced the categories: being respected and listened to, trust, sharing knowledge, and the second synthesis embraced the categories: space to learn with guidance, encouraging and enabling, being in control. In constructing the categories, findings were identified as characteristics, barriers and facilitators to application.

CONCLUSION: A successful relationship between parents and nurses can be achieved through co-creation of mutual knowledge as well as development of competencies and negotiation of roles. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses are in a position where they exercise power, but they can change the culture if they are aware of what seems to facilitate or create a barrier to a partnership with parents.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This new evidence may inform a change in policies and guidelines which could be integrated into nurses' clinical practice in NICUs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
ISSN0962-1067
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2019

ID: 57308081