Does IBIC contribute to better practice? A study of care managers’ reasoning and actual documentation within eldercare

(The project was earlier entitled - Documentation within eldercare: a study of need assessors’ case files and reasoning)

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

Collaborators: Senior Associate Professor Anna  Olaison (Linköping Universitet) & Dr. Maricel Knechtel (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).


2021-2023 Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala University (via the professorial funds connected to the chair in social gerontology at this university)

2024-2026 The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity

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.

Research design

The project is comprised of two sub-studies; a focus group interview based study (Study 1), and a case file study (Study 2). 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.

Study 1 is comprised of focus groups interviews with 90-100 care managers within eldercare.  Study 2 will use case files (n= 1,200 - 1,300 case files). The nature of the data in study 2 means that we process personal information, albeit for a very limited time and until all data has been anonymized. Nonetheless we have prepared a webpage with information about how we handle this information. (This page is for the affected clients and is only available in Swedish)

The different phases of the project  

The project started in 2021 when the process of securing ethics approval was set in motion and all documentation needed for that was sorted out. Thus far, we have also established cooperation with the following Swedish municipalities: Uppsala, Enköping, Järfälla, Karlskoga, Boden and Strömsund.

Thanks to the limited resources that the professorial funds mentioned under FUNDER made possible, we were able to begin collecting the data in 2022 and 2023. The external project funds we have now secured via The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity will guarantee that we – between 2024-2026 – can finish the collection of data, analyze all of the empirical material that has been collected thus far and write up this project’s results so that these can be disseminated to various stakeholders.

Last modified: 2024-02-01