Understanding family assessment in the Australian context; what are adult oncology nursing practices?
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It is widely recognised, that the caregiver role creates a physical and emotional strain on family members during health adversity. Therefore, family assessment is considered a crucial step in determining appropriate support and guidance required for both patient and family within the oncology setting. Despite this, little is known about the family assessment practices of oncology nurses in the Australian setting. This qualitative study investigated nurses’ family assessment practices in adult oncology settings using an interpretive approach. Focus groups [N = 20] were conducted with registered nurses [N = 56] across day, ward and radiation oncology areas in three Australian metropolitan hospitals. Results identified that family assessment was completed informally and varied relative to nurses’ education, experience, views about family assessment and characteristics of the workplace environment. Most nurses considered family assessment important; however, opinions differed with regard to nurses’ role in family assessment. The findings provide an understanding around nurses’ knowledge about family assessment and how they engaged with the family. Some nurses identified that a structured assessment approach may provide greater knowledge and understanding of family needs; therefore improve outcomes for patients and families.
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)