Aims. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of an exploratory study designed to test a portion of the Theory of Collaborative Decision-Making in Nursing Practice for Triads by examining the relation between types of decisions and formation of coalitions during triadic interactions among older home healthcare clients, their caregivers and home healthcare nurses during seven admission visits for home health care.
Background. Although home healthcare nurses include clients and family members in decision-making about care, few publications address the nature of interactions among triads of clients, caregivers and nurses in home health care and the association between decision-making and those interactions.
Method. The data presented in this paper are a secondary analysis of data originally collected in 1994. The sample included 157 decision-making situations identified from interactions of seven triads of older home healthcare clients, their caregivers and nurses. Qualitative data were collected by participant observation and audio-recording of admission visit interactions among clients, caregivers and nurses. Content analysis, augmented by Ethnograph software, was used to analyse the data.
Findings. Coalitions were evident in just eight of the 157 decision-making situations. All of the theoretically possible types of nursing care decisions (programme, operational control, agenda) were observed. Each coalition involved one nursing care decision; two coalitions formed in one triad. Seven coalitions formed between nurse and caregiver against client during two programme and five operational control decisions. One coalition formed between client and caregiver against nurse during an agenda decision. No coalitions formed between client and nurse against caregiver.
Conclusions. Although the study sample was small, the findings expand understanding of the relation between types of decisions and formation of coalitions during triadic interactions in home health care, and provided empirical support for a portion of the Theory of Collaborative Decision-Making in Nursing Practice for Triads.