“This has changed me to be a better mum”: A qualitative study exploring how the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program contributes to the development of First Nations women's self-efficacy

Elsevier, Women and Birth, Volume , 2023
Massi L., Hickey S., Maidment S.-J., Roe Y., Kildea S., Kruske S.

Background: The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program is based on the Nurse-Family Partnership program from the United States, which was designed to support first-time mothers experiencing social and economic disadvantage from early in pregnancy until their child's second birthday. International trials have demonstrated this program measurably improves family environment, maternal competencies, and child development. The Australian program has been tailored for mothers having a First Nations baby. Aim: This study aimed to understand how the program impacts self-efficacy using a qualitative interpretive approach. Methods: The study took place in two sites within one Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Meanjin (Brisbane), Australia. Twenty-nine participants were interviewed: first-time mothers having a First Nations baby who had accessed the program (n = 26), their family members (n = 1), and First Nations Elders (n = 2). Interviews were conducted either face-to-face or by telephone, using a yarning tool and method, to explore women's experiences and perceptions. Yarns were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Findings: Three main themes were generated: 1) sustaining connections and relationships; 2) developing self-belief and personal skills; and 3) achieving transformation and growth. We interpret that when the program facilitates the development of culturally safe relationships with staff and peers, it enables behaviour change, skill development, personal goal setting and achievement, leading to self-efficacy. Discussion: Located within a community-controlled health service, the program can foster cultural connection, peer support and access to health and social services; all contributing to self-efficacy. Conclusion: We recommend the program indicators are strengthened to reflect these findings and enable monitoring and reporting of activities that facilitate self-efficacy, growth, and empowerment.