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"Tu" or "Vous?". A European qualitative study of dignity and communication with older people in health and social care settings
MRC Health Services Research Collaboration, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PR, United Kingdom.
Academic Department of Geriatric Medicine, Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff University, Academic Centre, Cardiff CF64 2XX, United Kingdom.
Fundacio Hospital Asil de Granollers (FHAG), Department of Geriatric Medicine, Avenida Fransisco Ribas s/n, 08400 Granollers, Spain.
Slovak Health University (SHU), Krajinska 91-101, 82556 Bratislava, Slovakia.
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2006 (English)In: Patient Education and Counseling, ISSN 0738-3991, Vol. 61, no 3, 363-371 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To examine the experiences of communication between older people and health and social care providers in six European countries. Methods: Focus groups were carried out with groups of older people (91 focus groups, 391 participants), and health and social care professionals (85 focus groups, 424 participants), in order to gain insights into concepts of good communications. Data collection and analysis continued concurrently according to the method of constant comparison. Results: Different styles of communication between professionals and older people were found to be capable of enhancing or jeopardising dignity. The use of appropriate forms of address, listening, giving people choice, including them, respecting their need for privacy and politeness, and making them feel valued emerged as significant ways to maintain older peoples' sense of self-worth and dignity. Despite being aware of good communication practices, health and social care professionals often failed to implement them. Lack of time, staff, resource scarcity, regulation and bureaucracy were cited as barriers, as was a lack of awareness and effort. Conclusions and practice implications: The findings have important implications for health and social care professionals when they engage with older people. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 61, no 3, 363-371 p.
Keyword [en]
Dignity, Older people, Professional-patient communication
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50212DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2005.04.014OAI: diva2:271108
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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