"Tu" or "Vous?": A European qualitative study of dignity and communication with older people in health and social care settings

GM Woolhead, W Tadd, JA Boix-Ferrer, S Krajcik, B Schmid-Pfahler, B Spjuth, D Stratton, P Dieppe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To examine the experiences of communication between older people and health and social care providers in six European countries. Methods. Focus groups were carried out with groups of older people (91 focus groups, 391 participants), and health and social care professionals (85 focus groups, 424 participants), in order to gain insights into concepts of good communications. Data collection and analysis continued concurrently according to the method of constant comparison. Results. Different styles of communication between professionals and older people were found to be capable of enhancing or jeopardising dignity. The use of appropriate forms of address, listening, giving people choice, including them, respecting their need for privacy and politeness, and making them feel valued emerged as significant ways to maintain older peoples' sense of self-worth and dignity. Despite being aware of good communication practices, health and social care professionals often failed to implement them. Lack of time, staff, resource scarcity, regulation and bureaucracy were cited as barriers, as was a lack of awareness and effort.Conclusions and practice implications The findings have important implications for health and social care professionals when they engage with older people.
Translated title of the contribution"Tu" or "Vous?": A European qualitative study of dignity and communication with older people in health and social care settings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363 - 371
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume61 (3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier

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