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What they talk about: Conversations between child health centre nurses and parents
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2001 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648, Vol. 36, no 5, 659-667 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. The voluntary child health promotion programme reaches virtually all children in Sweden and each child will visit the child health centre about 20 times until it has reached school age. The practical responsibility for the tasks at the child health centre resides mainly with the nurse. The nurse’s talk is the main instrument used to carry out health examinations, detect health problems and developmental deviations, pass on information and give individual advice and support to families.

Aim. The aim of the study is to explore the content of the conversations and analyse its relationship to both the child health promotion programme and the question of which party decides what is talked about in these encounters.

Methods. The empirical study, approved by the Committee for Ethics in Medical Investigation, was conducted at three child health centres in medium-sized towns in Sweden. Data collection consisted of audiotapes of 44 visits to these child health centres. The tape-recorded conversations were transcribed verbatim and constitute the material. The analysis was content-orientated and was performed in four steps: coding and generating topics, categorization of topics, identifying the initiator and searching for regularities.

Results/Conclusion. The results showed that the most common issues discussed concerned the child’s development (mainly physical aspects), situational matters and questions about procedures and routines. The nurses initiated most of the topics discussed and her dominance was established with the help of the official child health promotion programme. The findings evoke ideas about what possibilities the parents have of making their voices heard during the conversations. The conclusion is that the findings indicate a need for further research on nurse-parent/child communication during visits to the child health centre to acquire knowledge about the interactional consequences in the conversation when some topics are discussed but others are not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 36, no 5, 659-667 p.
Keyword [en]
child health care, parents, children, nurse, encounter, interaction
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21217DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.02023.xOAI: diva2:240899
Available from: 2009-09-30 Created: 2009-09-30 Last updated: 2012-06-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Barns och föräldrars möte med sjuksköterskan i barnhälsovården
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barns och föräldrars möte med sjuksköterskan i barnhälsovården
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Swedish child health care for children 0-7 years has a participation rate ofnearly one hundred per cent. Its work is preventive, and its ambition is toprevent health problems in preschool children and to promote good health in them and their families. The nurse is the key person and communication with parents and children is one of the important tools she uses in performing her tasks.

The overall purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse the communication that takes place in encounters between the child health care nurse and families with children, during both visits to the child health care centre and visits in homes. The empirical material consisted of audio- and videotape recordings of five first visits to families with newborn children, of fortyfour visits of families to nurses at child health care centres, and of interviews with home visit participants. Data was primarily analysed qualitatively.

Most of what the families and the nurses discussed during the encountershad reference to the Swedish child health promotion programme, whetherthe encounters took place at the child health care centre or in participants' homes. This fact steered the interaction to a great extent. The nurses introduced the majority of topics in the conversations, but parents and children also brought up new topics. Advice, based to a great extent on the nurse's expertise, was given during almost every visit at the child health care centre. The nurse seldom encouraged parents to find their own solutions to various problems. Instead she offered standard solutions and answers to their questions. Non-verbal communication was a significant feature in the interaction. Video analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of the nurse's tasks, and also shows that the children were very active in the interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2002. 82 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 261
Child health care, Home visit, Children, Parents, Encounter, Social interaction, Verbal- and nonverbal communication, Advice, Empowerment, Video analysis, Barnhälsovård, Sjuksköterske-patientrelation
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-33961 (URN)20119 (Local ID)91-7373-428-4 (ISBN)20119 (Archive number)20119 (OAI)
Public defence
2002-10-11, Hörsalen, Hus Key, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Baggens, Christina
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