Registered nurses and registered practical nurses working on pediatric units in 35 Ontario general hospitals participated in a study that examined their perceptions and practices of family-centered care (FCC). The Family-Centered Care Questionnaire-Revised (FCCQ-R) was used to collect the data. The participants were asked to rate their level of agreement regarding necessary elements (perceptions) of family-centered care and whether these elements are part of their current work (practice). The participants had a reasonable knowledge of the necessary elements of family-centered care, but were not consistently including these in their every day work. A number of barriers to the implementation of family-centered care were also identified. Perception and practice scores were higher among those who had participated in continuing education on family-centered care than those who had not. The findings suggest that some nurses may be having difficulties shifting from a medical helping model of care to an enabling helping model of care, which is considered the foundation of family-centered care. Difficulties in implementing family-centered care appear to be systemic, both at the unit and organizational level. Based on the findings, implications for practice, education and research are suggested.

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