In the Netherlands confusion is signalled about the introduction of new care concepts like demand-oriented care. The aim of this article is to explore the phenomenon ‘interaction aimed at care tailored to the client demand’ as seen by expert clients: patients and their family caregivers. Focus interviews were held with expert patients and expert family caregivers of the ‘Dutch Council of the Chronically ill and the Disabled’. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse the results.
Recognition by the professional of client values underlying their demand (uniqueness, comprehensiveness, continuity of life, fairness and autonomy) and underlying the care-relationship (equality, partnership and interdependence) emerged as central element within the interaction. Feelings of recognition with the client seem to reinforce autonomy, self-esteem and participation. Recognition was optimally felt in a dialogue. Four professional competencies could be identified related to recognition: attentiveness (ongoing actions to know and understand the patient); responsiveness (active, committed and responsible care guided by respect of patient identity); being a critical partner in care (giving and grounding professional opinion and discuss boundaries); being a developer of client competencies (facilitating and developing client participation within care). The findings offer possibilities to operationalize care concepts aimed at tailored care. Further research aimed at refining and testing the hypothesis developed is recommended.