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Positive experiences from a newly established Clinic for Family Conversations - Important to involve relatives

Authors:

Anne Dichmann Sorknaes ,

Internal Medicine & Emergency Department (M/FAM), OUH, Svendborg Hospital, Denmark, DK
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Søren Udby

Internal Medicine & Emergency Department (M/FAM), OUH, Svendborg Hospital, Denmark, DK
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Abstract

Introduction: When a patient is affected by an illness, it is not only the patient who is affected, but the whole family.

It can be difficult for family members to talk about the challenges the illness presents to them, and find solutions to the challenges.

Wright and Leahey have developed a model for Family Conversations, Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM) and Family Intervention Model (CFIM). The purpose is to involve and support the patient/family to talk together about the challenges the disease presents. During the interview, the family can get help on how to deal with the challenges the disease presents.

Theory/Methods: At the Internal Medicine & Emergency Department (M/FAM), Svendborg Hospital, Denmark, all nursing staff are trained in CFAM and CFIM and the method is used at all nine medical units. There has been an increased need for patients/families to have long-term conversations. M/FAM has therefore in October 2021 set up a nursing clinic for Family Conversations. The clinic is open one afternoon a week, and the conversations are handled by two nurses. All patients and their families who have had contact with M / FAM and who need an interview can be offered approx. three conversations of 40 minutes duration.

Results: Families experience the conversations as a free space where they can talk openly together about what affects them without it only being about care and treatment of the disease.

They experience it as a more in-depth conversation, where difficult topics such as death also are discussed. They are put into words and heard how they each experience the disease, what ideas they have about the disease/course of the disease, what challenges they experience, and they become aware that they do not necessarily have the same experiences.

With the support of the nurses, they find out for themselves what resources they have in the family and how they can cope/solve the challenges posed by the disease.

All times are booked in the clinic and the families all want to have more than 1 conversation (usually 3).

The nurses find the family conversations relevant and meaningful, and it gives great job satisfaction.

 

Conclusions:

In one month, the clinic have become a huge success. All times are booked.

Families express it as a satisfying, different and intense way of talking. They find it important to hear what the other family members are thinking.

It is meaningful and gives great job satisfaction to the nurses.

Implications for applicability/transferability, sustainability, and limitations:

The clinic is a success. The clinic is expanded because of an increasing needs.

There is great interest in the clinic both among health professionals and families.

We believe that the clinic can help recruit and retain nurses in the ward at a time of shortage of nurses.

How to Cite: Dichmann Sorknaes A, Udby S. Positive experiences from a newly established Clinic for Family Conversations - Important to involve relatives. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):239. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC22119
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Published on 04 Nov 2022.

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