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Authors

  1. Benzies, Karen M. PhD, RN

Abstract

The philosophy of family-centered care in neonatal intensive care units is intended to facilitate parental involvement, shared decision-making, and improved outcomes for infants and families. To support family-centered care, there are multiple interventions with different components and associated outcomes that have been described in the research literature. This evidence leaves many unanswered questions about how best to implement and evaluate strategies to enhance family-centered care. This article provides a brief overview of interventions designed to support family-centered care in neonatal intensive care units and offers an evidence-informed staff education strategy to enhance family-centered care. The evidence-informed relational communications strategies of circular pattern diagrams, questioning, and commendations are described, along with specific examples of how nurses can use them in in their day-to-day practice in neonatal intensive care units.