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Insights gained through Marte Meo counselling: experiences of nurses in dementia specific care units


  • Rigmor Einang Alnes RN, MD,

  • Marit Kirkevold RN, ED.D,

  • Kirsti Skovdahl RN, PhD

Rigmor Einang Alnes
Department of Health Sciences
Aalesund University College
Postboks 1517
6025 Aalesund
Telephone: +47 70161396


Alnes R.E., Kirkevold M. & Skovdahl K. (2010) Insights gained through Marte Meo counselling: experiences of nurses in dementia specific care units. International Journal of Older People Nursing6, 123–132
doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2010.00229.x

Aim.  This study sought to uncover what nurses perceived to have learned, during their participation in video supported counselling, based on Marte Meo principles, in four dementia specific care units.

Methods.  This was a descriptive qualitative study. Data were collected through 12 individual and four focus group interviews. In addition, supplementary data from two video recordings and one written log were included. Findings emerged through content analysis and re-examination of the text based on the initial analysis.

Results.  The nurses experienced that they acquired new knowledge about the residents through Marte Meo Counselling (MMC), resulting in improved capability to interpret the residents` expressions, and increased awareness of the residents’ competence. New knowledge about themselves as nurses also emerged; they recognised how their actions entailed consequences for the interaction, in turn making them conscious of the usefulness of taking time, pacing their interactions, maintaining eye contact and describing the situation in words when the interaction took place. This appeared to increase the resident’s perception of being able to cope.

Conclusions.  This study indicates that MMC helped the nurses to gain knowledge about how to improve interactions with residents suffering from dementia. Further research is warranted into the effectiveness of MMC.