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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 145030, 7 pages
Research Article

Appreciation of a Child’s Journey: Implementation of a Cardiac Action Research Project

1Edgar Stephens Ward, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia
2Nursing Research and Practice Development Unit, Kids Research Institute, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
3Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia

Received 15 December 2011; Accepted 9 February 2012

Academic Editor: Shannon D. Scott

Copyright © 2012 Kate Alexa Dengler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the phases of the action research process involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating the Heart Beads program. The aim of the project is to enrich the hospital experience of children with cardiac conditions. Heart Beads involves children receiving unique beads specific to each cardiac treatment, procedure or event in recognition of their experiences, and endurance. An action research approach, involving a partnership between clinicians and researchers and emphasising the involvement of patients and their families, was used to guide the Heart Beads program. The project followed the five phases of action research: identification, investigation, program development, implementation, and evaluation. Heart Beads began as a small project which continues to grow in popularity and significance with children at a tertiary paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia. The program is now being implemented nationwide with the vision that all Australian children hospitalised with cardiac conditions can benefit from Heart Beads.