Amazing numbers and bottom rankings: the reporting of nursing home resident user surveys in the press

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Media reporting is one of many circumstances that nursing homes have to relate to, because of the reputational risks. The aim of this article is to investigate media representations of Swedish nursing homes in relation to reports on an annual national user survey. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical data consist of 381 Swedish newspaper articles about the survey results. The questions guiding the analysis were: what messages on nursing homes are communicated, and how are claims organized in order to appear factual? Findings: The data show that press reports focus on comparisons of care units' survey results, eldercare representatives' explanations of the results, and what improvements will be made in order to do better in the next year's survey. With their use of truth-making rhetoric, press articles construct survey results as credible and valid, thus mirroring user perceptions and ultimately nursing home quality. The selection of nursing home representatives' comments equally reinforces the validity of claims. Originality/value: Given nursing homes' problems with demonstrating success, the authors argue that media reports on the user survey is a way for eldercare organizations to achieve results in an otherwise resultless field, and while media reports might be seen as prompting change in nursing home care, what is ultimately achieved is the legitimation of a costly survey with low response rate.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Media Studies
  • Social Work

Keywords

  • Eldercare, Fact construction, Media analysis, Neo-institutional theory, Nursing homes, User survey
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 Feb 2
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes