Using appreciative inquiry to bring neonatal nurses and parents together to enhance family-centred care: A collaborative workshop

J Child Health Care. 2015 Jun;19(2):239-53. doi: 10.1177/1367493513508059. Epub 2013 Nov 21.


Family-centred care (FCC) has been well recognised, accepted and reported in the literature as an optimised way of caring for hospitalised children. While neonatal units strive to adopt this philosophy, published research suggests there are difficulties implementing FCC principles in daily practice. Appreciative inquiry (AI) is a philosophy and methodology that offers a unique, strength-based approach to promoting organisational learning and positive organisational change. As a participatory approach, AI facilitates change from the ground up and lends itself to building effective partnerships or collaborations. This article reports the findings of a one-day workshop using an AI methodology to bring neonatal nurses and parents together to enhance the FCC within a neonatal intensive care unit in Sydney, Australia. Participants (n = 15) developed collaborative insights of optimal FCC that can be built upon to support neonates and their families in the future. Shared visions were formed, strategies identified and a development plan made for ongoing collaborations and partnerships. AI provides a flexible framework that enables the mandatory collaboration needed to develop action plans that can form the catalyst for organizational change in health-care research and practice.

Keywords: Appreciative inquiry; family-centred care; neonatal care; neonatal nursing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Family Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Parents
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Professional-Family Relations*