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Behind the scales: Child and family health nurses taking care of women's emotional wellbeing


Shepherd, ML, Behind the scales: Child and family health nurses taking care of women's emotional wellbeing, Contemporary Nurse, 37, (2) pp. 137-148. ISSN 1037-6178 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.5172/conu.2011.37.2.137


This study, on the home visiting practice of child and family health nurses, looked at their often unacknowledged role in supporting women’s emotional health and well being, and how difficult it is to articulate this work. Observations of home visits, and recorded group and individual interviews with nurses were conducted in this ethnographic study, in regional Australia. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The tension between the nurse’s role in caring for the baby and taking care of women’s emotional health and wellbeing emerged as a major theme. Manifest and latent functions are used to describe the nature of community child health nurses’ practice where nurses covertly address the health and wellbeing needs of the mother via the overt function of monitoring the child’s health and development. Nurses often use a focus on the baby to legitimate addressing women’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:emotional well being, child health nursing, manifest and latent functions, trust, qualitative, ethnography
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Shepherd, ML (Mrs Marie Shepherd)
ID Code:77799
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2012-05-30
Last Modified:2014-08-26

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