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J Emerg Nurs. 2001 Jun;27(3):238-45.

Assessment of family-centered care policies and practices for pediatric patients in nine US emergency departments.

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Emergency Services, Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.



Family-centered care recognizes the integral role of the family in the health and well-being of the pediatric patient. However, implementing a family-centered care approach often requires significant philosophical, practice, and environmental changes. A self-assessment inventory of family-centered practices can identify areas for change.


ENA conducted a validation study on an instrument used to assess family-centered care in the emergency department. Nine emergency departments of varying demographics used the Family-centered Care Self-assessment Inventory to evaluate their family-centered care practices. The inventory is organized into 7 sections: (1) vision, mission, and philosophy of care; (2) family support; (3) information and decision making; (4) services coordination and continuity; (5) personnel practices; (6) quality improvement; and (7) community partnerships. Individual and group interviews were completed with a variety of staff in each emergency department.


All 9 emergency departments demonstrated some integration of family-centered care principles. However, staff knowledge about family-centered care varied. Support of family-centered care was most consistent in the departments with specific competencies, educational programs, and practices that were inclusive of the family.


The Family-centered Care Self-assessment Inventory tool was effective in evaluating family-centered care for pediatric patients in emergency departments. The assessment tool helped the departments to identify current family-centered care practices. Based on those assessments, the departments were able to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement in the care of children and their families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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