All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Cindy Cain

Advisory Committee Members

Martha Dawson

Patricia Drentea

Verna Keith

Larrell L Wilkinson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Introduction: Family health is characterized as a multi-dimensional process that is shaped by a number of social determinants. Similar to individual health, various domains work in conjunction and intersect to produce family health. Family-centered care is one of the many ways that healthcare providers can support health, however, little is known about if and how it is beneficial for family health. Considering the relevance of an organizational context, this study seeks to understand the delivery of care within an organization and providers’ perceptions of family-centered care. Data/Methods: Using the case of the Ronald McDonald House, this study integrates qualitative content analysis and in-depth interviews to assess the communication of the organizational mission and providers’ perceptions of the family-centered care model. Contents of communication and interview transcripts were initially analyzed to establish thematic categories. Focused coding identified the overlapping themes between the content and interview data. Results: The key results gathered from the content analysis highlight the importance of family anecdotes, donor and volunteer contributions, mission outcomes, the organization’s support of families in the communication of the Ronald McDonald House mission. The results from the interview respondents include 1) Paid care workers are able to define iv family-centered care conceptually and in practice; B) Paid care workers perceive familycentered care to be beneficial to Ronald McDonald House families; C) Collaboration is vital to the delivery of family-centered care, and collaborative care networks support the organization’s delivery of care and D) Perceived barriers identify weaknesses in the care model and the potential hindrance to the delivery of the mission. Conclusion: Individual health is embedded in family contexts that shape individual’s health and access to healthcare. Consideration of family-centered care presents an opportunity to re-conceptualize family health and implies that it is imperative for health organizations to acknowledge their contribution to the production of family health. Therefore, recognizing the context of family health informs literature and the future application of family-centered care.



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