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Title: Collaborative action research in child health promotion : a school nursing experience
Authors: Wu, Sau-ting Cynthia
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Background and Aim: The agenda for quality health care seems to be a non-ending matter of concern which is commonly shared by the government, healthcare professionals, and public communities. The intent of a healthcare change is to provide affordable, effective, and better healthcare services from the perspectives of all parties concerned. The partnership of school and nursing in contributing to the well-being of children is a well-known strategy to enhance primary health in overseas literature. However, most school health studies were developed by non-nursing researchers, and they focused mainly on the outcome intervention and policy issues. Nurses have played a key role in school health but little data are evaluated from a nursing perspective. Hong Kong's school nursing is at its infancy stage of development. It is lacking in terms of school nursing research data for designing intervention and research. Therefore, this study set out to capture this initiative of development through a nursing research within the context of school health practice. Knowledge and insights from the research findings will be taken for future reference in designing the settings of school nursing service, research, and practice. Design and Method: The primary aim of this project is to attain a theoretical understanding of the process of primary school and nursing collaboration in healthcare through real world practice. In consideration of this innovative practice in the natural school setting, a collaborative action research (CAR) design was purposively selected to guide the intervention process and data collection. Theories of holism and hermeneutic interpretation were applied in understanding and relating the meanings of the social data in human context. Public participants who were treated as co-researchers rather than as subjects were engaged in the research dialogue and discussion. The purposive design was adopted to enable a school community to be involved in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the total school health intervention process in a participative and non-dominant manner. This research strategy underpins the public and community health nursing principle that every human being should have the opportunity to participate in promoting his/her own health. Results and Discussion: The collaborative action research of introducing change of school health practice induces multiple stages of social interactions. The first stage of research work generated a team-building framework of school health participation. The results of the second stage of team implementation constructed a theory of school health practice that promotes the understanding of human dynamics in social health settings. The context of school health embraces 'team relation', 'empathetic dialogue', 'mutual participation', 'peer support', 'parental caring', and 'school health integration'. These concepts are the motivational forces of enhancing school health partnership, resource mobilisation, and school life integration. The realisation of these concepts takes place in not only the physical environment of the school but in communicative, supportive, caring and educational context. Implication and Conclusion: Dimension of school health collaboration was found to be socially dynamic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. It required social competence, intervention skill, and practice knowledge. The development of school health environment serves the dual purpose of sustaining school's health as well as to enhance planned change in professional advancement, community partnership and service intervention.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Children -- Health and hygiene
Health promotion
Action research
Pages: ii, 360 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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