Ethics and quality care in nursing homes: Relatives' experiences.Nurs Ethics. 2019 May; 26(3):767-777.NE
A total of 71,000 people in Norway suffer from some form of dementia in 2013, of whom approximately 30,000 are in nursing homes. Several studies focus on the experiences of those who have close relatives and who are staying in a nursing home. Results show that a greater focus on cooperation between nursing staff and relatives is a central prerequisite for an increased level of care. Benefits of developing systematic collaboration practices include relief for nursing staff, less stress, and greater mutual understanding. Going through studies focusing on the experiences of nursing home patients' relatives, negative experiences are in the majority. In this study, relatives are invited to share positive experiences regarding the care of their loved ones; a slightly different perspective, in other words.
The aim of the study is to investigate relatives of persons with dementia's experiences with quality care in nursing homes.
The study is a part of a larger project called Hospice values in the care for persons with dementia and is based on a qualitative design where data are generated through narrative interviews. The chosen method of analysis is the phenomenological-hermeneutical method for the study of lived experiences.
PARTICIPANTS AND RESEARCH CONTEXT
Participants in the project were eight relatives of persons with dementia who were living in nursing homes, long-term residences. The sampling was targeted, enrolment happened through collective invitation. All relatives interested were included.
The Norwegian Regional Ethics Committee and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services approve the study.
Findings show that relatives have certain expectations as to how their loved ones ought to be met and looked after at the nursing home. The results show that in those cases where the expectations were met, the relatives' experiences were associated with engagement, inclusion and a good atmosphere. When the expectations were not met, the relatives experienced powerlessness, distrust and guilt.
The results are discussed considering the concepts of trust, power and asymmetry.
When asked about experiences with quality care, the relatives spoke both of expectations met and of expectations not met. Results in this study are important knowledge for developing units where performing quality care is the overall aim.