25.11. Trust as a moral dimension of the public health nurse and family relationship

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of preventive nursing science

Doctoral candidate: Licenciate of Health Sciences Pirjo Vaittinen

Time and venue: 25.11.2011 at 12 noon, Mediteknia Auditorium, Kuopio Campus

Language of the public examination: Finnish

The purpose of this research was to yield the conceptual describtion of trust in the relationship between the public health nurse (PHN) and the client family. The research was conducted in 2 phases. A systematic literature review (N=61) describing how trust develops, what factors affect its development, and the consequences of the trusting relationship was done during phase 1. The interview data was gathered in phase 2 using a focus group and individual interviews of 24 PHN. The methodological background was hermeneutic, and the data were analysed using content analysis.

The literature review revealed that the development of trust occurs in stages and is promoted by patient respect, a caring approach, the work environment and nurse/client interaction, and the belief in the carer's treatment and knowledge/expertise. In work as PHN, the respondents felt that trust was exhibited through confidentiality, reliability, and trustworthiness. The effects of a trusting relationship were positive for both the families and the PHN.The trusting relationship developed slowly and the development process included six (6) stages. The relationship was enhanced by the success of the first meeting, the directness of the nurse, an empathetic and cooperative attitude when dealing with the family, and a working style that showed respect for the family at all times. The most common reasons for loss of confidence were failure to meet the expectations of the family, unprofessional behaviour on the part of the nurse, conflicts regarding the rights of a child, and lack of cooperation in maintaining the relationship.

According to the results the personal characteristics and moral competence of PHN are fundamental in developing trust relationship. The trust descripes how the needs of the family have been identified, interpreted and met. Therefore the trust can be descriped as a moral dimension of the relationship between the PHN and the client family.

The doctoral dissertation of Licenciate of Health Sciences Pirjo Vaittinen, entitled Trust as a moral dimension of the public health nurse and family relationship be examined at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Maritta Välimäki of the University of Turku and the custos will be Professor Anna-Maija Pietilä of the University of Eastern Finland.

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat

Contact: Pirjo Vaittinen, tel. 045 1366603, pirjo.vaittinen@saimia.fi

Publishing year: 2011

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