Background. Although many nurses have become aware of the importance of family-centered nursing, very little is known about the advanced knowledge and intervention skills of family nursing in Japan. Objectives. We examined the characteristics of their recognition of family nursing and factors related to the practice of family nursing. Methods. The subjects were nursing staff at a large hospital in Fukuoka, Japan (n = 596). A study using self-administered questionnaires was conducted in October 2002. Factor analysis and multiple linear regression analysis were used to analyse the data. Results. Of 596 nurses, 376 returned questionnaires (63·6%). The study achieved the following findings. (1) The nurse's recognition of family nursing had four subscales: skills required to interview family members to construct a trusted relationship; assessment of family structure and family functioning; interventional skills of family nursing; and skills to collect information on family members. (2) The predictors of family nursing recognition were 'gender', 'job position in hospital', 'individual experience of caring for their family members', 'length of clinical experience' and 'types of wards where they work'. (3) The predictors of practice of family nursing were 'interventional skills of family nursing', 'skills to collect information on family members' and the 'total of four skills'. Conclusions. It is implied that the acquisition of knowledge and skills of family nursing in hospital settings are invaluable to consciousness-raising and practice of family nursing. Relevance to clinical practice. As the factors related to practice or recognition of family nursing have been identified, the present findings are useful for hospital administrators who want to promote family nursing in their hospitals.
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