Examining Family Responses to Family Systems Nursing Interventions: An Integrative Review

J Fam Nurs. 2014 Aug;20(3):259-286. doi: 10.1177/1074840714542962. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


To add to the small, but growing, number of literature reviews of family interventions in health care, a systematic literature search of Family Systems Nursing intervention research resulted in the inclusion of 17 empirical research reports. Family Systems Nursing intervention research to date has primarily used qualitative methods and a few quasi-experimental designs using pre-post outcome measures. Families' responses to Family Systems Nursing interventions were categorized in this integrative review using the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains of family functioning proposed by Wright and Leahey. Family response in the cognitive domain found improved understanding, capability, and enhanced coping. The affective response categories showed caring more about each other and the family, improved family emotional well-being, and improved individual emotional well-being. Finally, family responses in the behavioral domain comprised caring more for each other and the family, improvement in interactions within and outside family, and healthier individual behavior. These findings may guide the design of future family nursing intervention research and the selection of family outcome measures to examine the usefulness of Family Systems Nursing interventions. More intervention research using experimental and quasi-experimental designs is needed to strengthen the evidence for Family Systems Nursing practice.

Keywords: Family Systems Nursing; family intervention research; family nursing intervention; family outcomes; integrative review.