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Facilitating change, the decision-maker’s views of municipality organized food distribution to elderly people living at home and suggestions for development: a participatory action research study
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research Environment PRO-CARE. Kristianstad University, Forskningsplattformen Hälsa i samverkan.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1212-293X
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap.
The School of Medical and Health Sciences, Örebro University.
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research Environment PRO-CARE.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4820-6203
2012 (English)In: Public Administration Research, ISSN 1927-517X, Vol. 1, no 1, 14-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study is the final part of a larger project with an action research approach focusing on food distribution (FD) within municipal service and care for elderly persons, living at home (≥65 years), from various perspectives. The aim was to describe the decision-makers’ the politicians and top level administrative manager’s views on the FD service, and to give feedback from the results of earlier studies based on information given by FD receivers, the perspectives of involved professionals, and the results of an intervention study and further to report the decision-makers suggestions for which areas should be taken into consideration as starting points to improve the FD process and practice. Data was gathered in two steps: step 1, through individual interviews (n=12) with the decision-makers during the spring of 2009, step 2a through feedback from previous studies, received during the autumn of 2011 and step 2b from discussions based on the feedback. The interview data was analysed using qualitative content analysis. The findings indicated a discrepancy between the reality and the political visions. It was shown that decision-maker’s needed to make decisions despite their uncertain knowledge of the complexity of the FD programmeThey considered what has been, what is, and will be, when setting goals. Their goal was that elderly person’s rights and needs should be fulfilled. This included freedom of choice and individual consideration. In addition, it meant, meeting elderly people’s medical and social needs. Three areas were found to require facilitation for change related to FD: 1) the monitoring of the elderly’s health and wellbeing while providing FD, 2) the increasing of professional competence, and 3) the creation of a forum for inter-professional communication. The findings in this study have implications for nursing, gerontology and public administration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 1, no 1, 14-23 p.
Keyword [en]
action research, decision-makers, facilitation, food distribution, municipality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-9794DOI: 10.5539/par.v1n1p14OAI: diva2:561514
Available from: 2012-10-19 Created: 2012-10-19 Last updated: 2014-10-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Matdistribution till hemmaboende äldre personer ur flera perspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matdistribution till hemmaboende äldre personer ur flera perspektiv
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this study was to gain insight into municipal food distribution from several perspectives: that of the clients, mainly elderly people, and also from the perspectives of different professionals and decision makers. An action research approach was chosen, as the characteristics of this method were deemed to be correct in relation to the basic aim of the study. This thesis is based on four empirical studies. Study I aimed to explore various professionals’ experiences of involvement in food distribution (FD) in order to get a comprehensive understanding of the organization, responsibilities and roles. The results showed that FD is a fragmentary intervention where a comprehensive perspective and clear roles of responsibility are lacking. Study II aimed to gain insight and to describe the experiences of home-living elderly people who receive hot meals distributed by their municipality. The results showed that there were feelings of dependency, and loneliness among the elderly participants, however they also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have their meals delivered to their home.  Study III aimed to describe how the professionals can identify needs for improvement and improve the municipal FD service to home living elderly people. The need to update and increase the FD recipient’s knowledge in nutrition by sending information letters was found to be an important area to focus on. Evaluation of letters resulted in the decision to continue preparing and distributing information letters to all FD recipients twice a year and to make the information letters assessable on the websites of the six municipalities and county councils involved. Study IV aimed to describe the decision maker’s views on FD and to report their suggestions for which areas reported from studies I-III should be taken into consideration as starting points to improve the municipal FD. The findings resulted in the decisions to monitor the elderly’s health and wellbeing while providing FD and to increase the professionals’ competence and to create a forum for inter-professional communication. In conclusion, this thesis illustrates that there is a necessity to identify the needs for general improvement of FD by involving the participants and to start out from their personal experiences and in their own context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2013. 81 p.
, Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 43
Action Research, Facilitation, Food Distribution, Story Dialogue Method, Home-living Elderly People.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-10790 (URN)978-91-7668-924-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-10, Hörsal P2 Prismahuset, Örebro Universitet, Örebro, Örebro, 12:11 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-08-09 Created: 2013-07-21 Last updated: 2014-10-14Bibliographically approved

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