Participation and power in care: exploring the “client” in client engagement

Petriwskyj, Andrea, Gibson, Alexandra and Webby, Glenys (2014) Participation and power in care: exploring the “client” in client engagement. Journal of Aging Studies, 31 119-131. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.09.007

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Author Petriwskyj, Andrea
Gibson, Alexandra
Webby, Glenys
Title Participation and power in care: exploring the “client” in client engagement
Journal name Journal of Aging Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0890-4065
Publication date 2014-12
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jaging.2014.09.007
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 31
Start page 119
End page 131
Total pages 13
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Despite growing recognition in health and care services of the necessity for client engagement, it is still not easily put into practice. This is owing to a range of factors relating to participating staff and clients, as well as the broader institutional context. One of the central factors affecting client engagement is the challenge it poses to traditional power relations inherent in care relationships and contexts. This is particularly the case in aged care services, which have traditionally positioned older adults in passive roles as “recipients” of care, or as lacking capacity to participate in care decision making. This paper presents an exploration of client engagement practices within a large aged care service provider in Australia. Interviews and focus group discussions with clients and staff were analysed for the ways in which clients were positioned – by both themselves and by staff – in terms of the roles that they hold within engagement practices. Four positions were identified: “Passivity, disempowerment and bestowal of power”, “Role of expert/consumer”, “Resistance, compliance and manageability”, and “Complexity, diversity and uniqueness”. While clients were positioned at times in empowering roles, they were simultaneously limited by personal, relational, or organisational constraints, making opportunities for client engagement provisional. This reflects a tension between passive and empowered client roles in the context of aged care provision.
Keyword Client
Older adults
Care services
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Tue, 07 Oct 2014, 09:27:56 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work