Person-centredness in elder care: A secondary analysis of data from a study among home-dwelling men and women in the Faroe Islands

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Aims and objectives
As individuals in Western societies age, there is increasing demand for home-based care to help older people stay in their homes for as long as possible and provide services that ensure a person's quality of life in old age. Numerous attempts are made to develop a framework to secure quality of care. However, research has shown insufficient quality in care for older people. In this study, the purpose is to study how older people's experiences with home care reflect a person-centred approach to care. Data derived from an earlier study on ageing among home-dwelling men and women who are aged 67–91 and living in the Faroe Islands.

Person-centredness as a concept is an often quoted, but ill-defined concept. Most studies concerning person-centred care are conducted within hospital wards or long-term care institutions. Empirical studies concerning home-dwelling older people receiving home care are scarce.

The study is a secondary analysis of data from an earlier qualitative study. Latent thematic analysis was used which meant coding issues of potential interest and collecting these codes into themes.

Three themes appeared to combine the initial codes: sense of involvement, sense of meaningfulness and contextual conditions. Overall, the analysis showed that the users were seldom involved in planning or scheduling the care they received. What they were offered did not always make sense to them or correspond to their needs or preferences.

The number of interviews included was limited. However, findings from this study point at some possible barriers to successful implementation of person-centredness within elder care. Especially, contextual conditions seem to limit the facilitation of person-centred practices.

Relevance to clinical practice
Healthcare providers must take the user's preferences, resources and networks into consideration when coordinating and planning home care and, importantly, be open for negotiating needs. It is important to draw attention to the contrast between political intentions regarding elder care and the limited options for putting the intentions into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2424
Pages (from-to)2416-2424
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • elder care
  • person-centredness
  • quality of care
  • secondary analysis
  • thematic analysis
  • Faroe Islands


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