• autonomy;
  • behavioural disturbances;
  • dementia;
  • identity;
  • interaction;
  • participant observation;
  • privacy;
  • reflective dialogue;
  • security;
  • thematic content analysis

Interaction relating to privacy, identity, autonomy and security. An observational study focusing on a woman with dementia and ‘behavioural disturbances’, and on her care providers

Aim. The study aims to illuminate how one woman with severe dementia and so-called behavioural disturbances acts in relation to her care providers and how the care providers act in relation to her.

Methods. Fourteen participant observations, including one woman with dementia and six care providers, were performed. A reflective dialogue focusing on the interaction between the woman and her care providers followed each observation. The tape-recorded observational notes and reflective dialogues were fixed as a text, which was subjected to a thematic content analysis.

Findings. The main findings are that the interaction between a woman with severe dementia and ‘behavioural disturbances’ and her care providers relates to privacy, identity, autonomy and security. The phenomena are intertwined and also in conflict with each other. Interaction is a complex dialectic process in which those who are engaged meet problems that can be solved and are involved in dilemmas that cannot be solved, only related to.