The aim of the study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of both the multidisciplinary team and the parents who attend the monthly multidisciplinary team clinic (CRANF). This was achieved using three focus groups.
The theoretical framework for this study was based on an interpretative phenomenological approach which focuses on understanding rather than explanation (Grix 2004).
Two focus groups were with parents and one with members of the multidisciplinary team who attend CRANF. The method of analysis was through the framework approach for defining concepts and systematically analysing the data (Ritchie and Spencer 1994). Four themes for the parents’ groups and four for the multidisciplinary team group were constructed from analysis of the transcripts.
Key findings from the parents’ focus groups were that the experience of attending CRANF could be “daunting”. Factors affecting this included numbers of professionals in the room, long waiting times and having a child present who was vulnerable due to their age or cognitive ability.
The multidisciplinary team focus group showed some congruity with the parents and an awareness of their issues. Discussion revolved more around how to “fix” the clinic rather than not have this particular type of clinic as part of the service.
It is concluded that the CRANF clinic requires some re-organisation in order to meet the needs of those who attend either as service users or service providers. Themes identified within the experience would allow for the development of this service. Further research into the experiences of all involved in multidisciplinary team clinics with a focus on the children themselves is needed.
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