Background: With advances in health care, the population of children who are technology-dependent is increasing and, therefore, the need for nurses to understand how best to engage in communication with the parents of these children is critical. Shared communication between the parents of hospitalized technology-dependent children and their nurses is essential to provide optimal care for the child. The components and behaviors of the parent-nurse communication process that improve mutual understanding of optimal care for the child had not previously been examined. Research Question: Among parents of hospitalized technology-dependent children and their nurses, what communication behaviors, components, concepts, or processes improve mutual understanding of optimal care for the child? Methods: An integrative review of both qualitative and quantitative studies was conducted. Key words including communication, hospitalized, nurse, parent, pediatric, and technology-dependent were used to search databases such as Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health and Medline for years 2000-2014. The data regarding the process of parent-nurse communication were extracted as they related to the mutual understanding of optimal care for the child. The data were grouped into themes and compared across studies, designs, populations, and settings. Results: Six articles were identified that provided information regarding the processes of shared communication among the parents of hospitalized technology-dependent children and their nurses. Providing clear information, involving parents in care decisions, trust and respect for each other's expertise, caring attitudes, advocacy, and role negotiation were all found to be important factors in shared parent-nurse communication. Linking Evidence to Action: The results of this integrative review inform our understanding of the parent-nurse communication process. The findings provide nurses with an understanding of strategies to better engage in respectful, engaging, and intentional communication with parents of hospitalized technology-dependent children and improve patient outcomes.
- Integrative review
- Technology-dependent children
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