Keeping the child in focus while supporting the family: Swedish child healthcare nurses experiences of encountering families where child maltreatment is present or suspected

Madeleine Dahlbo, Liselotte Jakobsson, Pia Lundqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Child maltreatment can lead to acute and long-term consequences, and it is important that at-risk children are identified early. Child healthcare (CHC) nurses in Sweden are in a position to identify child maltreatment, as they follow children and their parents from the child's birth to school age. Therefore, the aim was to describe CHC nurses' experiences when encountering families in which child maltreatment was identified or suspected. Individual open interviews with eight CHC nurses were performed and analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings revealed that keeping the child in focus, while supporting the family was essential for the nurses. This family-centred approach was assumed to benefit the child's interests. Meeting families where child maltreatment was identified or suspected influenced the nurses, emotionally in different ways. Nevertheless, it was important to keep an open mind and communication build on honesty. Furthermore, the nurses requested professional supervision in order to help them learn from the situation ahead of the next time. This knowledge about CHC nurses' experiences may form a basis for the development of interventions that aim to support the CHC nurses in their professional role, and thereby improve support to children and parents in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Nursing (30305)

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • family-centred care
  • nurse-family relationships
  • qualitative approaches

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