A training intervention to reduce paternalistic care and promote autonomy: a preliminary study
Received 27 April 2019
Accepted for publication 25 July 2019
Published 26 August 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1515—1525
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Macarena Sánchez-Izquierdo,1 Marta Santacreu,2 Ricardo Olmos,3 Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros4
1Department of Psychology, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid 28049, Spain; 2Department of Psychology, National Distance Education University of Spain – UNED, Madrid 28670, Spain; 3Department of Methodology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain; 4Department of Psychobiology and Health, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain
Correspondence: Macarena Sánchez-Izquierdo
Department of Psychology, Comillas Pontifical University, C. Universidad Comillas, 3-5, Madrid 28049, Spain
Tel +34 91 734 3950
Introduction: Paternalism, assuming control of aged care, is a widespread orientation in older adults care. Paternalistic attitudes and practices are commonly understood as a threat to the freedom and autonomy of a person, making patients more dependent. Therefore, the reduction of these attitudes and behaviors is a primary goal for any older adult health and social care situation. The aim of this preliminary study is to develop a behavioral intervention to decrease paternalistic behaviors in formal caregivers and to increase those care behaviors which promote autonomy at post-intervention (1 week) and at follow-up (14 weeks).
Methods: A sample of 118 professional caregiver volunteers working in day care centers and nursing homes were assigned to quasi-experimental (N=47) and control (N=71) conditions. The intervention consisted of 3 weekly group sessions. Individual and contextual measures were collected: 1) the primary outcome variable was the type of care (paternalistic versus autonomist) measured through the self-report Paternalist/Autonomist Care Assessment (PACA); 2) A 10-item caregiver self-register of paternalistic behaviors was carried out, 3) Finally, in order to assess the potential effects on observed behavior both in caregiver and older adult functioning at a contextual level, the five institutions were assessed through the SERA-RS.
Results: Compared with the control group, caregivers in the behavioral intervention group displayed significantly lower paternalistic appraisals at posttest and follow-up. Regarding the intervention group, caregivers at posttest and follow-up showed significantly greater occurrence of autonomist behaviors being promoted and lower paternalistic appraisal. The results regarding the effect on the institutions showed better personnel performance and older adult functioning.
Conclusion: Caregivers who followed the intervention learned to better identify older adult needs; although we did not find significant differences in autonomy occurrence compared with the control group, a behavioral intervention may promote more autonomist environments and, therefore, better personnel and older adult functioning.
Keywords: paternalism, autonomy, caregivers, behavioral intervention
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]