Aims and objectives. To investigate the didactic and social leadership in parent education groups based on a parent perspective, and to conceptualize parent experiences of the leader roles in these groups.
Background. Leadership in parent education groups has been associated with a lack of confidence in one's ability to function in that role. Research on how it can be delivered to produce a favourable outcome is scarce. It can be difficult to abandon the role of expert and let participants set their own learning agenda. To facilitate these processes requires leadership skills, knowledge of group dynamics, as well as pedagogical skills.
Design. Qualitative interview study.
Methods. Semi-structured interviews with parents (25 participants, 21 interviews). Transcripts were analysed using, first, thematic analysis, then comparative analysis.
Results. The study resulted in a four-field model, The Leadership – Teaching Approach model. It consists of the dimensions "Teaching approaches" ("Knowledge is imparted" and "Knowledge is jointly constructed "), and "Leadership approaches" ("Instrumental approach" and "Investigative approach").
Conclusions. Using an investigative approach is necessary in order to get a well-functioning group that can help the expectant and new parents in the transition to parenthood. Supervision can help develop an awareness of one's professional role as a nurse and leader of a parent education group.
Relevance to clinical practice. The actions and choices of nurses as leaders of parent groups have an impact on how the participants perceive and take in the content and purpose of the group, and whether they perceive it as meaningful. Getting support in reflecting about one’s role as a leader in this context can help create a learning environment in which the participants can become engaged in the activities and be strengthened by the experience.
2015. Vol. 24, no 13-14, 1966-1974 p.