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Client involvement in home care practice: a relational sociological perspective


Stinne Glasdam, Associated Professor, PhD, MSc in Nursing, RN, Division of Nursing, Health Sciences Center, Lund University, Box 157, 221 00 Lund, Sweden. E-mail: < >


‘Client involvement’ has been a mantra within health policies, education curricula and healthcare institutions over many years, yet very little is known about how ‘client involvement’ is practised in home-care services. The aim of this article is to analyse ‘client involvement’ in practise seen from the positions of healthcare professionals, an elderly person and his relative in a home-care setting. A sociologically inspired single case study was conducted, consisting of three weeks of observations and interviews. The study has a focus on the relational aspects of home care and the structural, political and administrative frames that rule home- care practice. Client involvement is shown within four constructed analytical categories: ‘Structural conditions of providing and receiving home care’; ‘Client involvement inside the home: performing a professional task and living an everyday life’; ‘Client involvement outside the home: liberal business and mutual goal setting’; and ‘Converting a home to a working place: refurnishing a life’. The meaning of involvement is depending on which position it is viewed from. On the basis of this analysis, we raise the question of the extent to which involvement of the client in public home-care practice remains limited.