Aim This study aims to describe and reflect upon how a sample of nurses, parents and young people experience consultations at local clinics and school health services. Central to the concept of health promotion is ensuring that focus is on the empowerment of clients through dialogue and participation. This study aims to explore public health nursing consultations with this in mind.
Background Norwegian public health nurses are in contact with almost all families at the child health clinic. They meet children and young people at school health services and youth clinics; putting them in an important position to promote health and prevent illnesses.
Methods Participant observations and in-depth interviews are the methods chosen. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Findings The study shows that good relationships are not only sustained by pleasantness but also by honesty and directness, provided that the relationship is based on trust and sincerity. Continuity and trust in services seem paramount to the service users’ satisfaction. Service users were not always able to put the reason for their appreciation into words, just as the nurses had difficulty verbalising their strategies. Words often fall short when attempts are made to capture the essence of caring, trust and other life phenomena. Openness on agenda and focus on feedback from service users are important in order to ensure empowering services. Further studies should address the interconnectedness of the service and the subtleties of public health nursing consultations
2010. Vol. 11, no 4
interpersonal relationships; Norway; perceptions; public health nursing; qualitative content analysis