Chris is a researcher with the Faculty of Health. She currently works on a range of qualitative and quantitative studies, and has long-standing experience in research design, implementation, analysis and systematic reviews.
For the Centre for Midwifery Child and Family Health, Chris has contributed to research on incarcerated parents, midwifery workplace culture, outcomes for preterm infants and the NHMRC-funded Birthplace in Australia study. She has also undertaken studies on responses to domestic violence in hospital emergency departments, infant feeding practices and health interventions for new graduate nurses.
With the Centre for Health Service Management, Chris is working on studies of patient safety for vulnerable indivduals and population groups.
Chris is an experienced writer and editor, and is committed to communicating research results clearly and accessibly.
- Families with children
- Child and family health nursing
- Incarcerated parents
- Women with substance dependence
- Maternal and perinatal outcomes by birth setting
- Patient safety
- Appraisal of research quality
- Survey design
Cheng, H, Tutt, A, Llewellyn, C, Size, D, Jones, J, Taki, S, Rossiter, C & Denney-Wilson, E 2020, 'Content and Quality of Infant Feeding Smartphone Apps: Five-Year Update on a Systematic Search and Evaluation', JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH, vol. 8, no. 5.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Rossiter, C, Power, T, Fowler, C, Elliott, K & Dawson, A 2020, 'Reflexivity in correctional research: researcher perspectiveson parenthood in a study with incarcerated parents', Qualitative Social Work: research and practice, vol. 19, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
PROBLEM:The midwifery workforce in Australia is impacted by shortages and attrition. Workplace culture affects midwives' intentions to stay in the profession and their capacity to provide woman-centred care for mothers and infants. BACKGROUND:Staff attrition in maternity services often relates to midwives' workplace experiences and negative perceptions of organisational culture. Broad-based data are essential to fully understand midwifery workplace culture. AIM:This study aimed to examine Australian midwives' perceptions of workplace culture, using a specifically developed instrument. METHODS:A national online survey of Australian midwives, within a wider project on maternity workplace culture. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. FINDINGS:Overall, 322 eligible midwives rated workplace culture and 150 provided further qualitative responses. Themes included 'the ability to be a midwife', 'support at work' and 'bullying'. Less than a third of midwives thought their workplace had a positive culture. Many respondents felt disengaged and unsupported by managers and described an inability to use all their midwifery knowledge in medically-dominated environments. Many attributed poor workplace culture to limited resources, poor communication, time pressure and a lack of leadership in their workplaces. Inadequate staffing levels and poor management left many midwives feeling disempowered and despondent about their workplace. Others, however, described highly positive workplace cultures and inspiring role models. CONCLUSION:The survey captured a snapshot of Australian midwifery workplace culture. Findings on leadership, workloads, management support and other aspects of workplace culture can inform future workforce planning and policies. A larger study of the midwifery workplace culture is needed.
Catling, C, Rossiter, C & McIntyre, E 2020, 'Developing the Australian Midwifery Workplace Culture instrument.', International Journal of Nursing Practice, pp. e12794-e12794.View/Download from: Publisher's site
AIM:To develop and psychometrically test the Australian Midwifery Workplace Culture instrument. BACKGROUND:Workplace culture is critical within midwifery settings. Culture determines not only the well-being and continued retention of maternity staff and managers but it also affects the quality and ultimate safety of the care they provide to women, infants and families. Several studies have identified cultural problems within maternity services. Relatively few instruments take account of the unique aspects of these workplaces and the relationship between midwives and women. DESIGN:Three-stage instrument development involved item generation (based on the Culture of Care Barometer), expert content validation and a pilot test. METHODS:During 2016, 38 midwifery experts reviewed the initial items, and 322 midwives then pilot-tested the draft instrument. We used exploratory factor analysis to identify key domains and to refine the instrument. RESULTS:The refined instrument contained 22 items in three distinct domains: relationship with managers, empowerment and collegiality. CONCLUSION:The instrument can contribute to understanding important dimensions of the culture in maternity workplaces and thus to examining problematic attitudes and practices. The instrument requires further development and testing with larger and more diverse samples of midwives and validation in specific midwifery settings and models of care.
Rossiter, C, Fowler, C, Hesson, A, Kruske, S, Homer, CSE & Schmied, V 2019, 'Australian parents' use of universal child and family health services: A consumer survey.', Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 472-482.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This study aimed to explore Australian parents' use of universally available well-child health services. It used an online survey of 719 parents of children aged from birth to 5 years in all states and territories to examine patterns of service use and consumer preferences. In Australia, several health professional groups provide advice to pregnant women, infants, children, and parents, offering health promotion, developmental screening, parenting support, and referral to specialist health services if required. The survey examined parents' use of different child and family health providers, and their preferences for support with several common parenting issues. The study indicated that families with young children obtain primary healthcare from a range of service providers, often more than one, depending on children's ages and needs. Parents frequently visit general practitioners for immunisation and medical concerns. They attend dedicated child and family health nurses for parenting advice and well-child checks and prefer them as an information source for many health issues. However, a substantial proportion of parents (44.1%) do not currently visit a child and family health nurse, often because they not only do not perceive a need but also sometimes because these services are unknown, inaccessible, or considered unsuitable. They may seek advice from less qualified sources. There is potential for increased collaboration between child and family health providers to ensure effective resource use and consistency of parenting information and advice. Nursing services may need to address accessibility and appropriateness of care.
Rossiter, C, Fowler, C, Hesson, A, Kruske, S, Homer, CSE, Kemp, L & Schmied, V 2019, 'Australian parents’ experiences with universal child and family health services', Collegian, vol. 26, pp. 321-328.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Australian College of Nursing Ltd Background: Australian governments provide free services to promote maternal and child health, and to support parenting for families with children up to age five. Services are principally provided by dedicated child and family health nurses, but also by general practitioners, practice nurses, pharmacy nurses and midwives. Aim: This study aimed to examine the experiences of families with young children across Australia in accessing and receiving health care for well children, parenting support and advice from a range of providers. Methods: The study used quantitative and qualitative data from an online survey of 719 parents and carers with children aged up to five years. Findings: On quantitative scales, most respondents rated healthcare providers favourably for accessibility, credibility and their approach to families. However, qualitative responses revealed widely varying reactions to child and family health provision. Parents described both positive and negative experiences, highlighting elements of practice that are critical to consumer engagement. Discussion: Parents require health care and support that are accessible, consistent, affordable, encouraging, trustworthy, evidence-based and non-judgemental. Parents feel more confidence in the information and care provided by health professionals who are well-informed, resourceful and who respect their knowledge and beliefs. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate ways in which child and family health providers can engage and effectively support families with young children.
Dawson, AJ, Rossiter, C, Doab, A, Romero, B, Fitzpatrick, L & Fry, M 2019, 'The Emergency Department Response to Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence: Insights From Interviews With Clinicians in Australia', ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 1052-1062.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Cheah, SL, Scarf, VL, Rossiter, C, Thornton, C & Homer, CSE 2019, 'Creating the first national linked dataset on perinatal and maternal outcomes in Australia: Methods and challenges.', Journal of biomedical informatics, vol. 93.View/Download from: Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Data linkage offers a powerful mechanism for examining healthcare outcomes across populations and can generate substantial robust datasets using routinely collected electronic data. However, it presents methodological challenges, especially in Australia where eight separate states and territories maintain health datasets. This study used linked data to investigate perinatal and maternal outcomes in relation to place of birth. It examined data from all eight jurisdictions regarding births planned in hospitals, birth centres and at home. Data linkage enabled the first Australia-wide dataset on birth outcomes. However, jurisdictional differences in data collection created challenges in obtaining comparable cohorts of women with similar low-risk pregnancies in all birth settings. The objective of this paper is to describe the techniques for managing previously linked data, and specifically for ensuring the resulting dataset contained only low-risk pregnancies. METHODS:This paper indicates the procedures for preparing and merging linked perinatal, inpatient and mortality data from different sources, providing technical guidance to address challenges arising in linked data study designs. RESULTS:We combined data from eight jurisdictions linking four collections of administrative healthcare and civil registration data. The merging process ensured that variables were consistent, compatible and relevant to study aims. To generate comparable cohorts for all three birth settings, we developed increasingly complex strategies to ensure that the dataset eliminated women with pregnancies at risk of complications during labour and birth. It was then possible to compare birth outcomes for comparable samples, enabling specific examination of the impact of birth setting on maternal and infant safety across Australia. CONCLUSIONS:Data linkage is a valuable resource to enhance knowledge about birth outcomes from different settings, notwithstanding methodological challenges...
Scarf, VL, Viney, R, Yu, S, Foureur, M, Rossiter, C, Dahlen, H, Thornton, C, Cheah, SL & Homer, CSE 2019, 'Mapping the trajectories for women and their babies from births planned at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital in New South Wales, Australia, between 2000 and 2012', BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol. 19, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Homer, CSE, Cheah, SL, Rossiter, C, Dahlen, HG, Ellwood, D, Foureur, MJ, Forster, DA, McLachlan, HL, Oats, JJN, Sibbritt, D, Thornton, C & Scarf, VL 2019, 'Maternal and perinatal outcomes by planned place of birth in Australia 2000 - 2012: a linked population data study.', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 10.View/Download from: Publisher's site
OBJECTIVE:To compare perinatal and maternal outcomes for Australian women with uncomplicated pregnancies according to planned place of birth, that is, in hospital labour wards, birth centres or at home. DESIGN:A population-based retrospective design, linking and analysing routinely collected electronic data. Analysis comprised χ2 tests and binary logistic regression for categorical data, yielding adjusted ORs. Continuous data were analysed using analysis of variance. SETTING:All eight Australian states and territories. PARTICIPANTS:Women with uncomplicated pregnancies who gave birth between 2000 and 2012 to a singleton baby in cephalic presentation at between 37 and 41 completed weeks' gestation. Of the 1 251 420 births, 1 171 703 (93.6%) were planned in hospital labour wards, 71 505 (5.7%) in birth centres and 8212 (0.7%) at home. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Mode of birth, normal labour and birth, interventions and procedures during labour and birth, maternal complications, admission to special care/high dependency or intensive care units (mother or infant) and perinatal mortality (intrapartum stillbirth and neonatal death). RESULTS:Compared with planned hospital births, the odds of normal labour and birth were over twice as high in planned birth centre births (adjusted OR (AOR) 2.72; 99% CI 2.63 to 2.81) and nearly six times as high in planned home births (AOR 5.91; 99% CI 5.15 to 6.78). There were no statistically significant differences in the proportion of intrapartum stillbirths, early or late neonatal deaths between the three planned places of birth. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first Australia-wide study to examine outcomes by planned place of birth. For healthy women in Australia having an uncomplicated pregnancy, planned births in birth centres or at home are associated with positive maternal outcomes although the number of homebirths was small overall. There were no significant differences in the perinatal mortality rate, although the absolute numbers of deaths w...
Fowler, C, Rossiter, C, Dawson, A, Power, T, Jackson, D & Roche, M 2018, 'When parenting doesn’t 'come naturally’: providers’ perspectives on parenting education for incarcerated mothers and fathers', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 98-114.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Learning to parent sensitively and safely can be challenging for adults with childhood abuse and neglect experiences. Such childhood experiences are prevalent among incarcerated parents whose ability to parent their own children is also limited by separation from them. Several prisons have developed programs to foster pro-social parenting skills among incarcerated mothers and fathers to assist them on release. This paper reports a qualitative research study that explored the factors affecting the delivery and outcomes of parenting programs in correctional facilities in New South Wales Australia from the perspective of individuals involved in developing and implementing the programs. Thematic analysis of 19 interviews identified two main themes: supporting parents’ learning in correctional settings and providers’ learning about parent education in correctional settings. Respondents reported the benefits of providing creative learning opportunities enabling parents to build on their strengths and to develop relationships. These factors contributed to changing prisoners’ attitudes and supporting them to consider alternative parenting approaches. The co-productive approach to parent education supported enhanced parenting knowledge among parents and greater insights among educators. Parenting education can be successfully delivered in correctional settings and can assist incarcerated parents to build on existing knowledge and adapt it to their own needs.
Hogan, R, Rossiter, C & Catling, C 2018, 'Cultural empathy in midwifery students: Assessment of an education program.', Nurse education today, vol. 70, pp. 103-108.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The ability of midwives to provide empathic care that is culturally appropriate is critical for women to feel accepted by the midwives who support them. Australia is a culturally diverse society, yet there is evidence of poorer maternity outcomes for some women and infants, related to their cultural background.This study's objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an education program for student midwives. The program was intended to increase the cultural empathy of future midwives, to help ensure greater cultural safety and optimal maternity outcomes across all sections of Australian society.This quantitative study compared pre- and post-intervention measures of students' empathy.The health faculty of a large urban university in Australia.Fifty-five students from all three years of an undergraduate midwifery program participated.The study examined students' scores on the Jefferson Scale of Empathy for health profession students, measured before and immediately after the education program, and again after four weeks.The midwifery students had a high mean baseline score on the empathy scale. Scores increased significantly after the education program. Students with lower pre-test scores recorded significantly greater increases in their empathy levels than those who were more empathic initially. Empathy scores declined one month after the program, but remained higher than baseline levels.Several studies have explored empathy levels amongst current and future health professionals. However, few studies of health professional students have evaluated the impact of specific education interventions addressing cultural empathy. This study found that midwifery students tended to have higher empathy scores than students in other health disciplines. The education workshop further increased participants' scores.
Scarf, VL, Rossiter, C, Vedam, S, Dahlen, HG, Ellwood, D, Forster, D, Foureur, MJ, McLachlan, H, Oats, J, Sibbritt, D, Thornton, C & Homer, CSE 2018, 'Maternal and perinatal outcomes by planned place of birth among women with low-risk pregnancies in high-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis.', Midwifery, vol. 62, pp. 240-255.View/Download from: Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:The comparative safety of different birth settings is widely debated. Comparing research across high-income countries is complex, given differences in maternity service provision, data discrepancies, and varying research techniques and quality. Studies of births planned at home or in birth centres have reported both better and poorer outcomes than planned hospital births. Previous systematic reviews have focused on outcomes from either birth centres or home births, with inconsistent attention to quality appraisal. Few have attempted to synthesise findings. OBJECTIVE:To compare maternal and perinatal outcomes from different places of birth via a systematic review of high-quality research, and meta-analysis of appropriate data (Prospero registration CRD42016042291). DESIGN:Reviewers searched CINAHL, Embase, Maternity and Infant Care, Medline and PsycINFO databases to identify studies comparing selected outcomes by place of birth among women with low-risk pregnancies in high-income countries. They critically appraised identified studies using an instrument specific to birth place research and then combined outcome data via meta-analysis, using RevMan software. FINDINGS:Twenty-eight articles met inclusion criteria, yielding comparative data on perinatal mortality, mode of birth, maternal morbidity and/or NICU admissions. Meta-analysis indicated that women planning hospital births had statistically significantly lower odds of normal vaginal birth than in other planned settings. Women experienced severe perineal trauma or haemorrhage at a lower rate in planned home births than in obstetric units. There were no statistically significant differences in infant mortality by planned place of birth, although most studies had limited statistical power to detect differences for rare outcomes. Differences in location, context, quality and design of identified studies render results subject to variation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:High-quality evidence ...
Fowler, C, Rossiter, C, Power, T, Dawson, A & Jackson, D 2017, 'Becoming a ‘better’ father: Supporting the needs of incarcerated fathers', The Prison Journal, vol. 97, no. 6, pp. 692-712.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Given the importance of fathering to the well-being and development of children, paternal incarceration has a major impact on children and families. Drawing on interviews with 64 incarcerated fathers in New South Wales, Australia, this article explores their experiences. The men’s childhood familial separation and disconnection is frequently repeated in adulthood, with limited contact with their own families even when not in custody. Despite barriers to connection, the interviewees express strong aspirations to be “good” fathers and to achieve a “better life” for their children. The absence of stable models of responsive fathering in early life is a common theme that has implications for the development of education and support programs for imprisoned fathers.
Hesson, A, Fowler, C, Rossiter, C & Schmied, V 2017, ''Lost and confused': Parent representative groups' perspectives on child and family health services in Australia', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 560-566.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© La Trobe University 2017. Consumer involvement in health care is widely accepted in policy and service delivery. Australia offers universal health services for families with children aged 0 to 5 years, provided by child and family health nurses and general practitioners. Services include, but are not limited to, monitoring and promoting child health and development, and supporting parents. This paper reports consumer representatives' perspectives on Australian parents' needs and experiences of child and family health services, identifying facilitators and barriers to service utilisation. Twenty-six representatives from consumer organisations explored families' experiences through focus groups. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Consumer representatives identified several key implications for families using primary health services: feeling 'lost and confused' on the parenting journey; seeking continuity and partnership; feeling judged; and deciding to discontinue services. Participants highlighted accessible, timely, non-judgmental and appropriate interactions with healthcare professionals as vital to positive consumer experiences and optimal health and developmental outcomes. Representatives indicated that families value the fundamentals of well-designed health services: trust, accessibility, continuity, knowledge and approachability. However, both consumers and service providers face barriers to effective ongoing engagement in universally provided services.Journal compilation
Rossiter, C, Power, T, Fowler, C, Jackson, D, Roche, M & Dawson, A 2017, '"Learning to become a better man": Insights from a fathering programme for incarcerated indigenous men', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 13-31.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Rossiter, C, Schmied, V, Kemp, L, Fowler, C, Kruske, S & Homer, CSE 2017, 'Responding to families with complex needs: A national survey of child and family health nurses.', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 386-398.View/Download from: Publisher's site
To explore the extent to which Australian child and family health nurses work with families with complex needs and how their practice responds to the needs of these families.Many families with young children face challenges to their parenting capacity, potentially placing their children at risk of poorer developmental outcomes. Nurses increasingly work with families with mental health problems, trauma histories and/or substance dependence. Universal child health services must respond effectively to these challenges, to address health inequalities and to promote the best outcomes for all children and families.The descriptive study used cross-sectional data from the first national survey of child and family health nurses in Australia, conducted during 2011.Survey data reported how often, where and how child and family health nurses worked with families with complex needs and their confidence in nursing tasks.Many, but not all, of the 679 respondents saw families with complex needs in their regular weekly caseload. Child and family health nurses with diverse and complex caseloads reported using varied approaches to support their clients. They often undertook additional professional development and leadership roles compared with nurses who reported less complex caseloads. Most respondents reported high levels of professional confidence.For health services providing universal support and early intervention for families at risk, the findings underscore the importance of appropriate education, training and support for child and family health professionals. The findings can inform the organisation and delivery of services for families in Australia and internationally. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Vedam, S, Rossiter, C, Homer, CSE, Stoll, K & Scarf, VL 2017, 'The ResQu Index: A new instrument to appraise the quality of research on birth place.', PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Place of birth is a known determinant of health care outcomes, interventions and costs. Many studies have examined the maternal and perinatal outcomes when women plan to give birth in hospitals compared with births in birth centres or at home. However, these studies vary substantially in rigour; assessing their quality is challenging. Existing research appraisal tools do not always capture important elements of study design that are critical when comparing outcomes by planned place of birth. To address this deficiency, we aimed to develop a reliable instrument to rate the quality of primary research on maternal and newborn outcomes by place of birth.The instrument development process involved five phases: 1) generation of items and a weighted scoring system; 2) content validation via a quantitative survey and a modified Delphi process with an international, multi-disciplinary panel of experts; 3) inter-rater consistency; 4) alignment with established research appraisal tools; and 5) pilot-testing of instrument usability.A Birth Place Research Quality Index (ResQu Index) was developed comprising 27 scored items that are summed to generate a weighted composite score out of 100 for studies comparing planned place of birth. Scale content validation indices were .89 for clarity, .94 for relevance and .90 for importance. The Index demonstrated substantial inter-rater consistency; pilot-testing confirmed feasibility and user-friendliness.The ResQu Index is a reliable instrument to evaluate the quality of design, methods and interpretation of reported outcomes from research about place of birth. Higher-scoring studies have greater potential to inform evidence-based selection of birth place by clinicians, policy makers, and women and their families. The Index can also guide the design of future research on place of birth.
Fowler, C, Rossiter, C, Sherwood, J & Day, C 2015, 'New Understandings of Mothering: Mothers in an Abstinence-Based Drug Treatment Program', International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 173-184.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Fowler, C, Schmied, V, Psalia, K, Kruske, S & Rossiter, C 2015, 'Ready for Practice: What child and family health nurses say about education', Nurse Education Today, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. e67-e72.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Australia has a well-established universal child and family health service predominately staffed by specialist/qualified child and family health nurses. Two common and interrelated concerns are the need for nurses to be ready for practice after completing a nursing education program and the means to ensure ongoing nursing competence.
To investigate the readiness of CFH nurses to practise after qualification and their continuing engagement with learning.
The study used an interpretive descriptive approach.
This paper presents data from four questions from a larger survey of child and family health nurses across Australia.
1098 child and family health nurses responded to the survey.
Qualitative survey responses from the four education questions were analysed using inductive thematic content analysis.
Five significant themes were identified: hands-on experience (student clinical practice/placement); drawing on prior experience; learning on the job; learning (learning over time); and barriers to learning.
This paper provides insights into nurses' readiness for practice at the completion of a postgraduate child and family health nursing qualification and their maintenance of competence and specialist knowledge. It highlights: the need for clinical placement to be retained and enhanced; the significant contribution of more experienced child and family health nurses mentoring newly graduated child and family health nurses; the need for minimum education standards; the importance of reviewing education courses in relation to graduates' readiness for child and family health nursing practice; the importance of supporting ongoing professional development; and the removal of barriers to accessing education opportunities.
Rossiter, C, Power, T, Fowler, C, Jackson, D, Hyslop, D & Dawson, A 2015, 'Mothering at a Distance: What Incarcerated Mothers Value About a Parenting Program', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 50, no. 2-3, pp. 238-255.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Background: Children with incarcerated mothers experience adverse health, social and emotional circumstances, and are a particularly vulnerable group. Mothers in custody face significant challenges in parenting their children.
Aims: The study aimed to identify participants’ views on impact of a parenting support programme for incarcerated mothers in NSW Australia.
Methods: The mixed-methods study examined 134 responses to open and closed questions on a questionnaire for programme participants.
Results: Participants found the programme worthwhile, engaging and relevant. It enhanced their parenting knowledge and confidence. Open-ended responses highlighted program elements which participants valued, specifically support for their parenting role in complicated circumstances, greater understanding of child development and perspectives, and practical strategies for facilitating connections with their children during their incarceration.
Conclusions: The study informs nurses working with women who have experienced incarceration and their children, both in custodial and community settings.
Schmied, V, Fowler, CM, Rossiter, C, Homer, CS, Kruske, S & CHoRUS team 2014, 'Nature and frequency of services provided by child and family health nurses in Australia: results of a national survey', Australian Health Review, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 177-185.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Objective. Australia has a system of universal child and family health (CFH) nursing services providing primary health services from birth to school entry. Herein, we report on the findings of the first national survey of CFH nurses, including the ages and circumstances of children and families seen by CFH nurses and the nature and frequency of the services provided by these nurses across Australia.
Hopwood, N, Fowler, CM, Lee, A, Rossiter, C & Bigsby, M 2013, 'Understanding partnership practice in child and family nursing through the concept of practice architectures', Nursing Inquiry, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 199-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A significant international development agenda in the practice of nurses supporting families with young children focuses on establishing partnerships between professionals and service users. Qualitative data were generated through interviews and focus groups with 22 nurses from three child and family health service organisations, two in Australia and one in New Zealand. The aim was to explore what is needed in order to sustain partnership in practice, and to investigate how the concept of practice architectures can help understand attempts to enhance partnerships between nurses and families.
Fowler, CM, Rossiter, C, Day, C & Lee, A 2012, 'Partners in Hope: an innovative program to support mothers affected by alcohol and drug dependence and their children', Australian Journal of Child and Family Health Nursing, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 18-21.
Rossiter, C, Fowler, CM, McMahon, C & Kowalenko, N 2012, 'Supporting depressed mothers at home: their views on an innovative relationship-based intervention', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 90-100.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This study explored the responses of a group of 111 mothers who experienced distress and/or depression and who received an innovative home visiting service until their child's first birthday. The article reports a thematic content analysis of the qualitative questionnaire responses returned by mothers after completing the intervention. The mothers valued the home visiting program for its capacity to increase their parenting confidence and to enhance their bond with their infants. They attributed this to the reassurance provided by the program and the skills and qualities of the home visitors. Their responses complement the benefits identified in the quantitative analysis of the program and demonstrate its impact from participants' viewpoints.
Fowler, CM, Rossiter, C, Maddox, J, Dignam, DM, Briggs, CJ, DeGuio, A & Kookarkin, JL 2012, 'Parent satisfaction with early parenting residential services: a telephone interview study', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 64-72.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Early parenting residential units provide a child and family health support and education service for parents experiencing parenting difficulties. An ongoing concern of nursing staff and management is whether the parenting knowledge and skills gained are translated into sustainable parenting practices after discharge. This paper explores the response to a post discharge telephone interview about parents' experience of nursing care during their residential stay and their parenting experience since discharge. A descriptive qualitative approach identified four themes in the parents' responses: greater confidence, greater knowledge about their babies, changing expectations of parenting and their infants, and sustainability of parenting skills.
Fowler, CM, Dunston, R, Lee, A, Rossiter, C & McKenzie, JA 2012, 'Reciprocal learning in partnership practice: an exploratory study of a home visiting program for mothers with depression', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 99-112.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper reports on a small exploratory study that investigates the place and role of reciprocal learning within a partnership-based home visiting program for mothers experiencing depression. The study is one important example of an increased focus on reciprocal learning within practice that has significant implications for the development of professional education and, more generally, for workplace learning and ongoing professional development. The study addresses two major gaps in the research literature: a lack of detailed accounts of how partnership based approaches are taken up and developed in Australian health care; and a lack of attention to learning as a focus and outcome of artnership- based practice. Using information from in-depth interviews with nurses and mothers we describe and analyse the experience of participants, their learning and knowledge development, the techniques used to facilitate learning, and the development of a relationship between mother and nurse, and mother and child.
Fowler, CM, Lee, A, Dunston, R, Chiarella, M & Rossiter, C 2012, 'Co-producing parenting practice: learning how to do child and family health nursing differently', Australian Journal of Child and Family Heath Nursing, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 7-11.
Child and family health nurses are increasingly required to examine the way in which they work with parents, in order to achieve more effective parenting outcomes and more sustainable health services. New approaches to working successfully with parents require acknowledgement that parents are competent, knowledgeable, resourceful and uniquely experienced with their child/ren. This calls for an approach to practice that enables ongoing parental learning and capability development, in contrast to more traditional practices. This article discusses the implications of these new approaches with reference to the idea of co-production, a concept that sits at the heart of recent initiatives in public sector and health service reform. Co-production extends previous thining about the nature and scope of parent participation, locating parents as equal partners and producers alongside health professionals.
Fowler, CM, Rossiter, C, Bigsby, M, Hopwood, N, Lee, A & Dunston, R 2012, 'Working in partnership with parents: the experience and challenge of practice innovation in child and family health nursing', Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 21, no. 21-22, pp. 3306-3314.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Aims and objectives. This study investigated what Family Partnership Model practice means in the day-to-day practice of child and family health nurses working with parents. Background. The Family Partnership Model has been widely implemented in child and family health services in Australia and New Zealand, with limited understanding of the implications for nursing practice. Design. A qualitative interpretive study design was used. Method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 nurse participants, who had completed the Family Partnership Model training programme. Subsequent focus groups enabled these participants to validate the themes identified in the initial analysis and to confirm that the nurses concurred with the issues raised. Thematic content analysis produced rich descriptions and explanation of nurses' experiences and perspectives. Results. Four themes emerged from the analysis: experience of changing practices, exploring with parents, challenging unhelpful constructions and a commitment to examining practice. Conclusion. Overall, the participants embraced the use of the Family Partnership Model, providing examples of change and increasing confidence in their approach to working with parents. Relevance to clinical practice. This study demonstrates that the effective utilisation of the Family Partnership Model in nursing practice is a more complex and dynamic process than simply embracing the model. There are significant challenges to be negotiated when implementing new ways of working with parents, particularly questioning existing dominant forms of practice for nurses, managers and wider health organisations, and their clients. This paper also raises issues about sustaining practice innovation, which extends beyond the best intent of individual nurses, requiring receptive organisational conditions and leadership.
Rossiter, C, Fowler, CM, Hopwood, N, Lee, A & Dunston, R 2011, 'Working in partnership with vulnerable families: the experience of child and family health practitioners', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 378-383.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Abstract.Family circumstances in infancy are persistent and powerful determinants of childrenâs physical and mental health, influencing inequalities that trace from childhood through to adulthood. While the social factors that perpetuate patterns of inequality are more complex than can be addressed through single interventions, child and family health (CFH) services represent crucial sites where trajectories of inequality can be disrupted. In particular, approaches that foster opportunities for practitionerâparent engagement that challenge traditional hierarchical health care practice, such as the Family Partnership Model (FPM), are recommended as ways of addressing disadvantage. Little is known about how practitioners implement models of working in partnership with families and, consequently, there is a gap in understanding how best to develop and sustain these new CFH practices. This paper reports a research project that investigated the experiences of 25 health professionals working within a FPM framework with vulnerable families. Through discussion of four key themes â redefining expertise, changing practices, establishing new relationships with parents and the complexities of partnership practice â the paper offers first-hand accounts of reframing practices that recognise the needs, skills and expertise of parents and thus contribute to empowerment of families.
Don, N, McMahon, C & Rossiter, C 2002, 'Effectiveness of an individualized multidisciplinary programme for managing unsettled infants', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 563-567.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Objective: To ascertain the effectiveness of an individualized multidisciplinary residential programme for managing young unsettled infants and whether changes in unsettled behaviour were maintained. Methods: One hundred and nine clients of a Tresillian residential unit with singleton infants aged less than 20 weeks were studied before, during and after intervention. Mothers completed a 24 h infant activity record prior to admission, during the stay and 1 month after discharge. Intervention consisted of settling techniques, parent education, support and counselling. Results: By day 4 of admission, the mean duration of unsettled (fussing, crying) behaviour had decreased significantly and mean sleeping time and awake/content times both increased significantly (P < 0.001). These changes were maintained 1 month after discharge. Changes in behaviour were particularly marked for very unsettled infants. Conclusions: In the absence of formal controls, the individualized programme appears effective in managing the behaviour of unsettled infants.
In Australia, poverty is usually measured in two different ways; first according to the number of people who have incomes below a poverty line and, second, by the number who are in poverty after they have paid for their housing. This note calculates both measures for 1981/82 and analyses the changes that have occurred since the early 1970s. Poverty measured after housing has increased while poverty measured according to incomes alone is approximately the same as in the early 1970s. This note explores reasons, additional to trends in housing costs, for the change. © 1987, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
This paper investigates some aspects of housing amongst people aged 65 and over, using previously unpublished data. It aims to explore further the generally optimistic view of elderly people's housing and to illuminate the variety of circumstances within this population. The analysis concentrates on gender‐based inequalities. Although elderly people generally have adequate and affordable housing compared with the population as a whole, in terms of housing tenure and costs, elderly women lend 10 fare less well than their male counterparts. Gender inequalities in housing circumstances are discussed in relation to differences in marital status and income levels. Copyright © 1986, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
Reviewing Australian conventional wisdom that the private rental sector is the most deprived tenure, this paper considers the issue of affordability (housing costs proportional to income). It reviews recent policies and trends in housing costs. New data indicate that over one-fifth of income units spend over 20 per cent of income on accommodation, with private tenants still relatively worst off. © 1985, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Popay, J & Rossiter, C 1982, 'Family change and health policy.', Midwife, health visitor & community nurse, vol. 18, no. 9, pp. 365-372.
Cheng, H, Tutt, A, Llewellyn, C, Size, D, Jones, J, Taki, S, Rossiter, C & Denney-Wilson, E, 'Content and Quality of Infant Feeding Smartphone Apps: Five-Year Update on a Systematic Search and Evaluation (Preprint)'.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Parents use apps to access information on child health, but there are no standards for providing evidence-based advice, support, and information. Well-developed apps that promote appropriate infant feeding and play can support healthy growth and development. A 2015 systematic assessment of smartphone apps in Australia about infant feeding and play found that most apps had minimal information, with poor readability and app quality.
This study aimed to systematically evaluate the information and quality of smartphone apps providing information on breastfeeding, formula feeding, introducing solids, or infant play for consumers.
The Google Play store and Apple App Store were searched for free and paid Android and iPhone Operating System (iOS) apps using keywords for infant feeding, breastfeeding, formula feeding, and tummy time. The apps were evaluated between September 2018 and January 2019 for information content based on Australian guidelines, app quality using the 5-point Mobile App Rating Scale, readability, and suitability of health information.
A total of 2196 unique apps were found and screened. Overall, 47 apps were evaluated, totaling 59 evaluations for apps across both the Android and iOS platforms. In all, 11 apps had affiliations to universities and health services as app developers, writers, or editors. Furthermore, 33 apps were commercially developed. The information contained within the apps was poor: 64% (38/59) of the evaluations found no or low coverage of information fou...
Dunston, R, Forman, D, Hager, J, Manidis, M, Rogers, G, Rossiter, C, Thistlethwaite, J & Yassine, T Commonwealth of Australia 2014, Curriculum Renewal for Interprofessional Education in Health, Final Report for Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney.
Rossiter, C, Fowler, CM, Dunston, R, Sherwood, J & Day, C Centre for Research in Learning & Change UTS 2013, Integrating parenting support in alcohol and drug treatment program for mothers and their children: a study of practice innovation, pp. 1-45, Sydney.
Dunston, R, Forman, D, Manidis, M, Rogers, G, Rossiter, C, Thistlethwaite, J & Yassine, T Centre for Research in Learning and Change, University of Technology Sydney 2013, Interprofessional Education: a National Audit. Report to Health Workforce Australia, Sydney.
Rossiter, C, Hopwood, N, Dunston, R, Fowler, CM, Bigsby, M & Lee, A Centre for Research in Learning and Change, FASS, UTS 2011, Sustaining Practice Innovation in Child and Family Health: report to partners, pp. 1-38, Sydney.
The publication reports on the findings of a UTS Partnership Grant-funded project, a collaboration between the Centre for Learning & Change FASS and FNMH, Tresillian Family Care Centres, Kaleidoscope Hunter Children's Health Network and the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. The study explored the implementation of the Family Partnership Model (FPM, Davis, Day and Bidmead 2002) in three child and family health nursing services in Australia and New Zealand. The FPM is an internationally-recognised exemplar of co-productive partnership practice, and has been adopted by all Australian states as the preferred model for providing universal child health services. Unlike previous studies of the FPM that assess its impact on individuals and families, this case study used in-depth qualitative methods to investigate the complex process in which nurses learn about a new way of working with families and how they incorporate new insights into their practice. They study also considers how innovative models of service delivery are implemented within health systems and how they are sustained over time.