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Consumer participation in acute care settings : an Australian experience
journal contributionposted on 2003-08-01, 00:00 authored by Sally Wellard, J Lillibridge, C Beanland, M Lewis
Consumer partnerships have been embraced as an important component of building high quality health care services. While nurses have the greatest contact with clients in hospital, little is known of their views about consumer participation or how they facilitate that participation at the bedside. Using focus group interviews and participant observation methods, this project explored nurses' approaches to working with consumers to support their participation in health care delivery. Findings indicate a sharp contrast between the ideas that nurses expressed and the actions observed in practice. It was clear from the interviews that nurses had adopted the rhetoric surrounding consumer participation, yet observational data revealed nursing practices that excluded active participation by consumers. Factors influencing nurses' facilitation of consumer participation were identified as the division of nursing labour in the setting, limited communication between nurses and patients and environmental constraints.