Back to Journals » Psychology Research and Behavior Management » Volume 2

The quality of caring relationships

Authors Abma T, Oeseburg B, Widdershoven GA, Verkerk M

Published 10 March 2009 Volume 2009:2 Pages 39—45

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S4617

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Tineke A Abma, Barth Oeseburg, Guy AM Widdershoven, Marian Verkerk

Medical Humanities/EMGO Institute, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: In health care, relationships between patients or disabled persons and professionals are at least co-constitutive for the quality of care. Many patients complain about the contacts and communication with caregivers and other professionals. From a care-ethical perspective a good patient-professional relationship requires a process of negotiation and shared understanding about mutual normative expectations. Mismatches between these expectations will lead to misunderstandings or conflicts. If caregivers listen to the narratives of identity of patients, and engage in a deliberative dialogue, they will better be able to attune their care to the needs of patients. We will illustrate this with the stories of three women with multiple sclerosis. Their narratives of identity differ from the narratives that caregivers and others use to understand and identify them. Since identities give rise to normative expectations in all three cases there is a conflict between what the women expect of their caregivers and vice-versa. These stories show that the quality of care, defined as doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right person, is dependent on the quality of caring relationships.
Keywords: ethics of care, dialogue, responsibilities, narratives, relationships

Creative Commons License 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]