Different views on collaboration between older persons, informal caregivers and care professionals

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Informal care features high on the policy agenda of many countries to deal with workforce shortages. As a consequence, care provision increasingly takes place in the care triad of care recipients, informal caregivers and care professionals. How collaboration between care partners takes shape depends on how the different partners perceive this collaboration. This paper aims to investigate the relative importance of the different aspects of collaboration from the perspectives of care recipients, informal caregivers and care professionals in the context of the care for older persons in The Netherlands. 


Using Q-methodology, 32 participants ranked 28 statements that reflect different aspects of collaboration in the care triad and explained their ranking during a follow-up interview. Participants comprised 9 older persons, 10 informal caregivers and 13 care professionals. Data were analysed using by-person factor analysis to identify common patterns in the rankings of the statements. Emerging patterns were interpreted and described as views on collaboration using aggregated rankings and qualitative data from the interviews. 


Five distinct views on collaboration were found: (1) Emphasizing warm collaboration, (2) trusting care professional's expertise, (3) open and compassionate care professionals, (4) responsive decision-making by autonomous care professionals and (5) prioritizing care recipient's and informal caregiver's interests. Care recipients and/or informal caregivers were associated with views 1, 3 and, 5, whereas care professionals were associated with all five views. 


Our study highlights the importance of recognizing the potential diversity of views between and within different partner groups in care triads. Governmental and organizational policy makers, as well as healthcare professionals who aim to increase or support the involvement of informal caregivers, should take this heterogeneity into consideration. Patient or Public Contribution: An advisory board of older persons (care recipients and informal caregivers) was involved in the recruitment of the participants, the formulation of the statements and the reflection on the findings of the study and potential implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14091
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Health Expectations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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