Relational Aspects of Parent and Home Health Care Provider Care Practices for Children With Complex Care Needs Receiving Health Care Services in the Home: A Narrative Review

  • Karen LeGrow
    Address correspondence to Karen LeGrow, RN, PhD, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
    Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University (K LeGrow and S Espin), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Eyal Cohen
    Complex Care Program, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children, Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto (E Cohen), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Sherry Espin
    Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University (K LeGrow and S Espin), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Published:August 14, 2021DOI:


      Children with medical complexity have ongoing health needs that may require dependence on medical technologies. While hospital admissions are an important focus of care delivery for these children, a majority of the time they are cared for in their own homes. Parents’ report feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the scope of their responsibilities, but they become sophisticated care providers and assume greater authority when providing their children's care at home. Communication, decision-making, and dealing with conflict with members of health care teams have been central concerns in parents’ reports of their home health care experiences. The objective is to review literature on relational aspects of parent and home health care provider care practices for children with medical complexity receiving home health care services. A narrative review was conducted. A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBM Reviews, PsychINFO, ERIC, and CINAHL databases for English language studies published since database inception was carried out. Eligible studies focused on relational aspects of parent and home health care provider care practices for children with medical complexity receiving home health care services. Nine empirical studies were selected for this review. Literature describes parents’ and providers’ experiences managing a child with medical complexity in the home and the effects for the family and the parent-health care provider relationship. Parents want to be actively involved in all aspects of care that affects their child and ultimately their family. Further investigation is needed to better understand relational aspects of parent-home health care provider care practices to support child/family health and well-being in the home setting.


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