Nursing Partnership with Parents of Technology-Dependent Children

Posted on April 1, 2016 by


It is our pleasure to feature an article by Michele A. Mendes, PhD, RN, CPN, titled “Partnership With Parents of Technology-Dependent Children: Clarification of the Concept.” As with many of the articles in this issue of ANS, Dr. Mendes focuses on ways in which technology influences the caring relationship that is central to nursing. You can download this article at no charge while it featured by visiting the ANS website! Here is a message in which Dr. Mendes describes more about her work in this area of practice:


Michele A. Mendes, PhD, RN, CPN

It is a pleasure to be able to share my work and my passion for children dependent on technology, their parents and their nurses.  This manuscript is the third describing my program of research that aims to explore nursing practice with children dependent on technology and the broader group of children with special health care needs. The first focused on understanding the delivery of home nursing care to these children from the perspective of the people responsible for their care, their parents and home care nurses.  Initially, I examined home nursing care practice from the perspective of the parents.  Next, in a follow-up study, I examined home nursing care practice from the perspective of home care nurses.  These two studies told two separate parts of the story of home care nursing, but did little to explain how parents and nurses work together in partnership to provide the care the children need to survive and thrive.

As I discovered when reviewing the literature on partnerships between nurses and parents of child patients, the term partnership is used loosely and is poorly defined.  A concept analysis of partnership would certainly have provided increased understanding of the concept, but would lack the richness of data from the perspective of the partners involved.  A secondary analysis of the data from the previous two studies would have provided rich data describing how parents and nurses work together to provide home care, but would have lacked the depth of understanding that came with an analysis of the concept.  An adaptation of the Hybrid Model of Concept Development1 Allowed me to combine strategies of concept analysis and a secondary analysis of the data from the two previous studies to bring the richness of first-person accounts and the depth of concept analysis to the clarification of the concept of partnerships between parents of children dependent on technology and home care nurses.

  1. Schwartz-Barcott D, Kim HS. An expansion and elaboration of the hybrid model of concept development. In: Rodgers BL, Knafl KA, eds. Concept development in nursing: Foundations, techniques, and applications. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2000:129-159.