Documentation within eldercare: a study of need assessors’ case files and reasoning

Primary Investigator: Prof. Sandra Torres (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).

Collaborators: Dr. Anna Olaison (CESAR), Uppsala University) & Dr. Maricel Knechtel (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University & Region Uppsala).

Funder: Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala University (via the professorial funds connected to the chair in social gerontology at this university).

Duration: 2021- 2022.

Project description: This project focuses on the role that documentation plays in the need assessment process that older people in need of help and support undergo when trying to access eldercare services. The reason why this is the focus of this two-study project is that there are surprisingly few studies – both in Sweden and internationally - that specifically focus on this. The project aims therefore to shed light on how care managers within eldercare reason about documentation practices in general, and especially in light of the increasing demands for standardization that are placed on welfare representatives. In addition, the project aims to analyze case files so that we also can shed light on what (and how) care managers within eldercare actually document. Thus, by bringing attention to care managers’ own reasoning about, among others, the role that standardization plays on documentation, as well as their actual documentation practices, this project aims to contribute to the national debate on these matters in general and eldercare in particular. The project is comprised of two sub-studies; a focus group interview based study (Study 1/ n= 90-100 care managers), and a case file study (Study 2/ n= 1,200 - 1,300 case files). By combining data collection efforts that tap into how care managers’ reason and what and how they actually document, this project will contribute not only with much needed empirical results about documentation practices within eldercare, but also with theoretically-sound contributions to ongoing debates within social work and social care about institutional categorization, clientization, professional discretion, and clients’ deservingness.

Last modified: 2022-01-25