Objective: Family-centered care (FCC) has received widespread endorsement for use in care in the United States. In this study, we conducted a systematic review of evidence for FCC focusing specifically on family-provider partnership as the activity that constitutes FCC.
Methods: We found and reviewed articles from the medical, nursing, psychology, and sociology literature spanning 1986 to 2010. We also reviewed articles obtained through related references and through recommendations from key informants. Four sets of terms were used to search, including FCC, child/adolescent, children with special health care needs (CSHCN, defined broadly or by condition), and a relevant outcome.
Results: Twenty-four studies met the review criteria. Eight were cross-sectional studies from the National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs, and 7 were reports of randomized, controlled trials. Of the 24 articles reviewed, 13 examined populations of CSHCN or similar populations, 6 examined children with asthma, and the remaining studied children with other specific conditions. We found positive associations of FCC with improvements in efficient use of services, health status, satisfaction, access to care, communication, systems of care, family functioning, and family impact/cost. There was little available evidence, however, for some outcomes, including cost and transition.
Conclusions: The available evidence suggests that FCC is associated with improved outcomes for CSHCN. With positive findings for most of the studies reviewed here and the compelling arguments for FCC, we recommend the use of this approach by individuals and organizations.
Copyright © 2011 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.