Nurses' attitudes towards family importance in nursing care across Europe

Mahdi Shamali, Nuria Esandi Larramendi, Birte Østergaard, Maria Barbieri-Figueiredo, Anne Brødsgaard, Ana Canga-Armayor, Karin Brochstedt Dieperink, Cristina Garcia-Vivar, Hanne Konradsen, Bente Nordtug, Veronica Lambert, Romy Mahrer-Imhof, Sabine Metzing, Martin Nagl-Cupal, Lorenz Imhof, Erla Kolbrun Svavarsdottir, Veronica Swallow, Marie Louise Luttik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To explore differences in nurses' attitudes regarding the importance of family in nursing care and factors associated with nurses' attitudes across 11 European countries.

BACKGROUND: Family involvement in healthcare has received attention in many European healthcare systems. Nurses have a unique opportunity to promote family involvement in healthcare; however, their attitudes and beliefs may facilitate or impede this practice.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey across European countries.

METHOD: A broad convenience sample of 8112 nurses across 11 European countries was recruited from October 2017 to December 2019. Data were collected using the Families' Importance in Nursing Care-Nurses' Attitudes (FINC-NA) questionnaire. We used the STROBE checklist to report the results.

RESULTS: There were significant differences in nurses' attitudes about families' importance in nursing care across Europe. Country was the factor with the strongest association with the total scores of the FINC-NA. Older age, higher level of education, increased years since graduation, having a strategy for the care of families in the workplace, and having experience of illness within one's own family were associated with a higher total FINC-NA score. Being male and working in a hospital or other clinical settings were associated with a lower total FINC-NA score.

CONCLUSION: Nurses' attitudes regarding the importance of family in nursing care vary across 11 European countries. This study highlights multiple factors associated with nurses' attitudes. Further research is necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for nurses' different attitudes and to develop a strong theoretical framework across Europe to support family involvement in patient care. The inclusion of family healthcare programs in the baccalaureate curriculum may improve nurses' attitudes.

RELEVANCE FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE: In clinical practice, the focus should be on identifying influencing factors on nurses' attitudes to enhance families' importance in nursing care across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Early online date11 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022


  • nursing
  • family
  • attitudes
  • Europe


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