The purpose of this study is to analyze the trend of nursing research related to family support and to provide an effective direction for future research by conducting a review of the Korean nursing literature from 1980 to 2000. A total of 73 studies were analyzed with the following results. 1) The number of studies related to family support has been rapidly increasing since 1984, and 77% of those were conducted in the 1990s. 48 studies, 65% of those analyzed. were degree-based research including 4 doctoral theses (4%) and 45 master's theses (62%). 2) Based on the objective frame of study types developed by Lee et al. (991), the types of studies were analyzed: 56 studies, 76.6% of those reviewed, belonged to factor-relating: 9 studies (12.4%) belonged to factor-isolating: 7 studies (9.6%) belonged to situation-producing: and only 1 study (1.4%) belonged to situation-relating research, respectively. 3) In terms of research design, most studies of analyzed (90.4%) were conducted by non-experimental design, and 7 studies (9.6%) were conducted by experimental design. But, qualitative research related to family support was not found. 4) In terms of research subjects, target populations of experimental studies were patients with arthritis, mental disorder, tuberculosis, coronary artery disease and hypertension. In correlational studies, 51 studies, 69.9% of those analyzed, were conducted to patients with renal failure, cancer and hemiplegia, and 5 studies (6.8%) were conducted to aged people and adolescents. 5) Study concepts used in correlational studies were quality of life, anxiety and depression, self-esteem, hope, role behavior, compliance and self-care activities. The quality of life was most often used among studies with 12.5% of those analyzed. 6) Nursing interventions, including diet therapy, family involving education and supportive care, used in experimental studies mostly showed positive effects on client involvement and home health improvement. However, the nursing interventions of mental health rehabilitation and resistance exercise showed neutral and negative results. The findings of this study provide evidence that more empirical research including experimental or qualitative studies should be conducted actively to improve nursing practice related to family support. Also, to promote more diverse nursing interventions, a family assessment tool especially for Korean families needs to be developed.
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