Bowlby's children: The forgotten revolution in Australian children's nursing

Jeanette Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Children's hospitals are vastly different today from fifty years ago. Although there have been dramatic changes in treatment and environment, the biggest contrast for patients is the involvement of parents and family in the nursing and care of the children.This change is largely due to the work of two men from Great Britain, Dr John Bowlby and James Robertson, whose research findings changed the way children were nursed to include consideration of their psychological alongside physical needs.This caused a revolution in the nursing of children that spread throughout Australasia. Bowlby and Robertson's work is largely forgotten now, but it forms the basis for the current policy of nursing children within the context of the family.This paper includes excerpts from an Australian oral history collection of twenty-six narratives from former child patients, parents and nurses and the personal papers of Dr Bowlby.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Bowlby
  • Children
  • Nursing
  • Psychological
  • Visiting parents


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