Engaging Families: A Continuing Education Course on Family Centered Care principles and practice
Olwell, Kristen M.
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Research has shown that Family Centered Care (FCC), or a partnership between parents and health care professionals, has a positive impact on child outcomes when a child is hospitalized and post discharge as well as on psychosocial wellbeing for the family as a whole (Glang, McLaughlin, & Schroeder, 2007; Harrison, Romer, Simon, & Schulze, 2007; Bamm & Rosenbaum, 2008; An & Palisano, 2014; Foster, Whitehead, & Maybee, 2010). However, throughout the literature it is evident that FCC principles, including parent participation, are not being implemented effectively in pediatric inpatient rehabilitation, leading to a disparity between what theory and evidence supports and what is seen in actual practice (An & Palisano, 2014; Aarthun & Akerjordet, 2012; Foster et al., 2010; Arcuri, McMullan, Murray, & Silver, 2015). The aim of this doctoral project was to better understand the factors that are influencing this problem as well as explore evidence-based solutions to this problem. A literature review on these topics was used to develop an educational program for pediatric occupational therapists called Engaging Families: A Continuing Education Course on Family Centered Care Principles and Practice. Engaging Families is a two-day training course educating pediatric occupational therapists on FCC strategies and implementation of these strategies in order to effectively incorporate parents in their child’s inpatient occupational therapy process.