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Promoting empathy in social care for older people
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4578-0501
School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Social Care Workforce Unit, King's College London, London, UK.
2012 (English)In: Working with Older People, ISSN 1366-3666, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 101-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify connections between empathy and social care and to describe aspects of empathy in social care work, by bringing together research from different fields.

Design/methodology/approach: Five doctoral theses which discussed empathy among care workers of older people in Sweden were analysed as a group. The theses had been published over the period 1996 to 2007. Methodologically, the examination underpinned an interpretive content analysis.

Findings: The meta-analysis revealed conflicting feelings among care workers. Most experienced frustration when they were not able to express empathy in their working practices. Empathy was typically hindered by lack of time, care workers' own needs, and inflexible home care systems. However, a key element of the job-satisfaction reported by care workers appeared to be its empathic nature. Most care workers perceive encounters with older people as opportunities to respond empathically rather than indifferently. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Originality/value: The study is an overview that attempts to build a bridge across the two concepts, social care and empathy. The main strength of this analysis is its originality of approach undertaking a specific literature review and reflecting on a subject that has not previously been explored in the Swedish context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 16, no 3, p. 101-110
Keywords [en]
Empathy, Social care, Older people, Elderly people, Qualitative research, Litterature review
National Category
Social Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Disability Science; Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-25694DOI: 10.1108/13663661211260781Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84865789770OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-25694DiVA, id: diva2:549115
Available from: 2012-09-03 Created: 2012-09-03 Last updated: 2019-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Strandberg, Thomas

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf