Well-being for Individuals and Families in Nursing (IndFamilyNurs)

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Tarja Pölkki

Research group description

Aims of the research group

The aim of our research group (IndFamilyNurs) is to develop evidence-based consistent practices for promoting the well-being of individuals and families in different nursing environments. The research is multidisciplinary and leverages digital innovations to improve the effectiveness of care.

Our research focus areas

The research focus areas include:

1) Promoting family orientation; developing instruments for the evaluation of family- and people-centered care and increasing the involvement of parents/relatives in patient's care

2) The impact of the care and nature environment on the well-being; emphasizing the diversity of Northern nature and its production virtually for different target groups

3) Assessment and management of pain and its related emotions; developing and testing multimodal pain assessment tools (considering also fear, anxiety, and delirium), evaluating the effectiveness of nonpharmacological methods and increasing the competence of staff and students through training interventions

Materials and methods

Research materials include qualitative and quantitative data based on the interviews, surveys and documents collected from patients, their families/relatives, and healthcare providers. The group uses especially the methods of intervention studies (RCT), systematic reviews with meta-analysis, qualitative study with content analysis and developing psychometrically validated instruments.

Significance of our research

The results produced by the research team enable the development of consistent practices and multidisciplinary innovations to promote family-orientation and the effectiveness of care in nursing. The results have the potential to reduce inequalities, promote justice and increase participation in care for different patient and population groups.

Social impact

We develop instruments for the evaluation of family- and people-centered care, when the results can be used to enhance patients' quality of life, satisfaction, and increase the involvement in care and decision-making of parents and relatives. In addition, by bringing nature experiences into nursing environment, it is possible to promote patient recovery and produce significant positive effects on their well-being.

The research group is also interested in developing pain assessment and management. We are testing new multimodal methods specifically for neonatal pain assessment utilizing algorithms and artificial intelligence. If we can reliably predict pain and prevent the adverse long-term effects of untreated pain, this will be a major achievement both nationally and internationally. In addition, digital interventions for pharmacological pain-relieving methods will not only benefit patients and their families but are also cost-effective as they can reduce complications and hospital stays.

Our research project integrates knowledge from different disciplines in an innovative way to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. Collaboration is established with local companies, actors of the social and health service system and researchers in various fields nationally and internationally.

Our team

Where are we headed

In the future, our vision is to produce higher-quality and socially influential clinical nursing research with multidisciplinary teams. The goal is to support the sustainable development to ensure healthy life and wellbeing for all ages, including different patient groups in hospital. Of particular interest are vulnerable children and their families.

Our main collaborators

How to find us

Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

tarja.polkki(at)oulu.fi (Group leader)

To find more information, please go to: https://www.oulu.fi/healthsciences/indfamilynurs