Journal of Professional Nursing

Health Professionals Perspectives of Care for Seriously Ill Children Living at Home

Cynthia Ward, MA (Applied), BN, Chief Executive Officer, True Colours Children's Health Trust, Hamilton, NZ
Alicia Evans, PhD, MBA, BN, Senior Lecturer, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
Rosemary Ford, PhD, MN, B Hth Mgt., Deputy Head of School, Australian University, Ballarat, Australia
Nel Glass, RN; Dip Neuro Nurs, BA, MHPEd, PhD, FACN, Honorary Professor Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

Reference:  Ward, C., Evans, A., Ford, R., & Glass, N. (2015). Health Professionals Perspectives of Care for Seriously Ill Children Living at Home. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 31(2), 25-34. 


The aim of this article is to report the findings of health professional's perceptions of beneficial care for seriously ill children and their families.  This paper represents one component of a PhD qualitative evaluation study investigating care provided by a child health Trust in New Zealand.  The Trust provides an integrated care model of nursing and psychological support to children with complex health needs and their families who live at home.  The research methodology was informed by critical realism.  The research method chosen was a focus group.  Their were 12 health professional participants who worked in collaboration with the Trust team to provide care to seriously ill children.  Data was analysed using a realist analysis to identify initial key aspects and subsequent themes.  Five themes were identified:  collaboration between health providers; effective communication; expert skills; support for colleagues and, after-hours care availability.  Participants perceived the Trust model of care to be integral for children with serious illness, and their families in the community.  This study extends our current understanding of models of care for children with complex health needs.  It has relevance to health providers who are first 'on call' for children with serious illness and their families as well as those involved with continuity of care.

Seriously ill children; health professionals; model of care; complex health needs

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