Struggling to create new boundaries: a grounded theory study of collaboration between nurses and parents in the care process in Iran

J Adv Nurs. 2011 Apr;67(4):841-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05515.x. Epub 2010 Nov 24.


Aim: To develop a substantive grounded theory of nurse-mother interaction in the care of chronically ill children in hospital setting.

Background: Interaction between nurses and parents is critical in paediatric hospital settings. This area of practice in developing countries has been under-researched.

Method: The qualitative research design of grounded theory methodology was used to develop a theory of nurse-parent interaction within the child care. Registered Nurses (n=17) and mothers of chronically ill children (n=14) from two central paediatric hospital in Iran participated in this study. In-depth interviews with nurses and mothers were conducted using theoretical sampling between July 2007 and August 2008. The data were analysed using constant comparative analysis.

Findings: 'Struggling to create new boundaries' as a core variable was a dominant socio-psychological process that was manifesting itself within three stages: facing up to and perceiving the environmental pressures, balancing nurse's duties, and controlling the nurse-parent boundary in the care.

Conclusion: It is concluded that nurses and parents need a care model, which addresses their collaboration and improved interpersonal relationship and clearly defines the boundary of their roles based on the needs of both sides while allowing parents to choose their role in these defined boundaries and providing parent education with aim to empower them for care at home.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Nursing
  • Mothers* / psychology
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution
  • Nursing Theory
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult