Care managers' view of family influence on needs assessment of older people

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research has shown that families experience poor involvement in needs assessment of older people while little is known about municipal care managers' views of family participation. The aim was to explore how municipal care managers view families' participation in and influence on needs assessment of older people receiving public home help. Individual interviews (n = 26) were conducted with care managers (n = 5) about their previously conducted needs assessments (n = 5-6). As a complement, a focus group interview with care managers (n = 9) from nine different municipalities was conducted. All interviews were analysed using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed the overarching category, 'Having to establish boundaries towards family influence and at the same time use them as a resource', which encompassed five principal categories. How family participation was viewed and handled during the needs assessment process seemed determined by the way care managers set boundaries for their professional responsibility. Their views revealed both distancing and strengthening attitudes. The distancing attitude dominated, in particular towards family members who were not perceived as having any legal rights to be considered, even though their participation was an important resource. To follow legislation and municipal guidelines of allocation of public home help to avoid reprimands caused a need for self-protection. The care managers seemed pressed by demands from organizations and families, and in this competition, the family lost out. Adherence to organizational developed patterns of handling legislation and guidelines were prioritized. Because family members often are older and assist in providing care, family participation in the needs assessment of older help recipients needs further societal support.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • care manager, family participation, needs assessment, public home help
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-252
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch