Parents' and Service providers' perceptions of family-centred practice in a community based, paediatric disability service in Australia
Raghavendra, P and Murchland, S and Bentley, M and Wake-Dyster, W and Lyons, T, Parents' and Service providers' perceptions of family-centred practice in a community based, paediatric disability service in Australia, Child: Care, Health and Development, 33, (5) pp. 586 - 592. ISSN 0305-1862 (2007) [Refereed Article]
For children who have physical disabilities and their families, involvement with a variety of providers of rehabilitation services is the norm rather than the exception. Despite family-centred practice (FCP) being recognized as the 'best practice' model, families experience models of service provision that range from 'expert' to 'collaborative'. After adopting FCP at Novita Children's Services in South Australia, it was imperative to determine the effectiveness of the implementation of FCP. Aim To investigate parents' and staff's perceptions of FCP at Novita as part of ongoing quality assurance activity, and to identify any gaps in the services provided.
The Measures of Processes of Care (MPOC) for parents/caregivers and service providers were utilized. A total of 189 families stratified by the three age groups of clients (<6, 6-12 and 13-18 years) and home location (metropolitan and rural) completed the MPOC-20 questionnaire. A total of 145 staff, allied health therapists, rehabilitation engineers, managers and other staff who have direct contact with clients and their families completed the MPOC - service providers (MPOC-SP) questionnaire.
Parents generally rated the family-centred behaviours of staff as positive. Respectful and supportive care received the highest rating, while providing general information received the lowest. There were significant differences in scores for all five scales of the MPOC between metropolitan and rural families and the age of the child. Service providers also generally rated their family-centred behaviours as positive. There were significant differences among the professions in areas of showing interpersonal sensitivity and providing general information.
The findings suggest that parents and service providers perceive FCP as positive at Novita, with some areas for improvement. The MPOC-20 and MPOC-SP can be used to measure FCP and to identify service delivery gaps, which warrant further exploration.