A Concept Analysis: Facilitation and Practice Development Analyzing Evidence From the Literature and Beyond

Friday, 28 July 2017: 2:50 PM

Elizabeth Breslin, MHSc, MA, BSc (Hons), HDip (Ortho)
Health Service Executive Donegal, Health Service Executive (HSE) Ireland, Ballyshannon, Ireland

The aim of this exploration is to understand, as fully as possible, the concept of facilitation within practice development using a concept analysis approach. The purpose of concept analysis methodology is to distinguish between concepts (Jakimowicz and Perry, 2015) and clarify the relationships and distinguishing characteristics between concepts (Fitzgerald and McCarthy, 2016)

Early mention of the concept of facilitation in PD began to emerge within nursing literature around the mid to late 1990s. This occurred alongside references to PD as a distinct and unique change methodology and, in the early years, was specifically focused on nursing practice. Practice development, as an approach, is now considered much wider than nursing practice. Facilitation is referred to as being central to PD and although much has been written about this topic, there appears to be a lack of an agreed definition of what facilitation actually means within the systematic processes that are PD. Shaw et al’s. (2008 p. 147) analysis is the most recent CA in PD and has been influential in this CA work.

Practice development provides a methodology to enhance and support cultures of person centred care delivery for clients and also for those individuals providing, organising and supporting care delivery at micro, meso and macro organisational levels. It is complex and has many components. Principle Four of the nine PD principles (Manley, McCormack and Wilson 2008, p.7) informs us that “PD integrates and enables both the development of evidence from practice and the use of evidence in practice”. This principle has guided the development of this theoretical exploration of facilitation in PD.

 Conceptual clarity and a shared understanding of what facilitation is, what it looks like, what it does and its’ outcomes within PD adds to the growing body of nursing and healthcare knowledge. The engagement of individuals in systematic and inclusive ways of working to support and enable person centred cultures of care is considered an important component of PD approaches. This is referred to as facilitation. Concept analysis is carried out by framing the analysis within a model. Walker and Avant’s (1995) model and Morse et al’s (1996) guiding principles provided the theoretical framework for this concept analysis. This CA demonstrates the blending of two approaches with the purpose of clarifying what facilitation in PD is from published evidence, grey literature and expert practitioners in the field.

 Defining attributes of facilitation in PD identified within this concept analysis include: process; learning; person centred practice; facilitator skills and knowledge; learning and personal (facilitator) growth; theoretical approaches, models and frameworks; culture and context; values and beliefs. A definition of what facilitation means in PD is offered. Attributes, antecedents and the consequences found from the concept analysis will be tested with practitioners in a participatory action research study.