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That which goes unsaid: Experiences of everyday life in residential care for residents with limited communication ability. A collective case study.

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

That which goes unsaid: Experiences of everyday life in residential care for residents with limited communication ability. A collective case study.

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Background
The experiences of residents who have communication difficulties such as dysphasia are largely absent from the literature.

Aim
To illuminate the everyday experiences of four residents with severe communication difficulties living in a residential care setting in the Netherlands.

Methodology & Methods
A collective case study methodology was used. Seventy-five hours of observation, interview and documentary data was gathered over six weeks. Alternative strategies of communication were developed to enable the co-creation of dialogue between participants and researcher. For example, a participant who could not talk used intentionally created artwork to share her ideas with the researcher.

Findings
Participants' daily experiences were characterised by struggling against the constraints of the residential setting: having to wait, having unmet needs, experiencing vulnerability and uncertainty. Participants' communication difficulties exacerbated these constraints. Their experiences of struggling were sometimes ameliorated by significant social contact with family or particular staff members, and engaging in enjoyable activities. Occasionally the experiences of enjoying the here-and-now, and being 'seen' as a person by the other, would create beautiful moments in which truly person centred engagement would occur. These moments were neither articulated nor recorded, and were thus invisible after they had occurred. Similarly, the experiences of struggling against the constraints were neither acknowledged nor recorded. Significant experiences in the lives of these four residents were therefore invisible to others. The unifying theme representing the participants' daily experiences was: That which goes unsaid.

Discussion
It was necessary to develop communication strategies which would by-pass the researcher's assumptions and enable participants to introduce their own ideas and opinions. This ongoing process of co-creation of dialogue required work from, and trust between, participants and researcher.

What is new?
• Expressly seeking the views of residents with communication difficulties
• Successfully using process consent with participants in this situation
• Using intentionally created artwork during data gathering in this context

What has regional, national or international relevance?
The findings indicate that people with communication difficulties may not receive optimal care in residential settings in the Netherlands. Methods are described which could be used by practitioners in their everyday work, and which show facilitators or practice developers how they can help carers to engage in more effective communication with this kind of resident. Additionally, this research contributes to the international discussion about ethical participation of vulnerable people in research.

Toon meer
OrganisatieFontys Hogescholen
InstituutFontys Hogeschool Verpleegkunde
LectoraatLectoraat Persoonsgerichte praktijkvoering
Jaar2008
TypeProefschrift
TaalEngels

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