Uncovering psychosocial needs: perspectives of Australian child and family health nurses in a sustained home visiting trial

Contemp Nurse. 2009 Aug;33(1):50-8. doi: 10.5172/conu.33.1.50.


The first Australian trial of sustained nurse home visiting provided an opportunity to explore nurses' understanding of the situations that support mothers of infants to disclose personal and sensitive psychosocial information. Using a qualitative descriptive design, semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcripts were analysed drawing upon aspects of Smith's interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five themes pertaining to the experience of relationship building to foster disclosure of sensitive information emerged: (1) building trust is an ongoing process of giving and giving in return, (2) being 'actively passive' to develop trust, (3) the client is in control of the trust-relationship, (4) the association between disclosure of sensitive issues and a trust-relationship, and (5) empowerment over disclosure. This study provides a deeper understanding of how child and family health nurses develop relationships that lead women to entrust the nurse with personal, sensitive information, and may inform the practice of psychosocial needs assessment in other contexts.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration
  • Family Nursing / organization & administration
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • New South Wales
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Assessment / organization & administration
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Pediatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Poverty Areas
  • Power, Psychological
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Disclosure
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trust