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

The quality of caring relationships

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

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


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 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] 


Readers of this article also read:

Fullerene–biomolecule conjugates and their biomedicinal applications

Yang X, Ebrahimi A, Li J, Cui Q

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:77-92

Published Date: 18 December 2013

The role of inflammation in diabetic cardiomyopathy

Nunes S, Soares E, Pereira FC, Reis F

International Journal of Interferon, Cytokine and Mediator Research 2012, 4:59-73

Published Date: 24 July 2012

Evaluation of injectable silica-embedded nanohydroxyapatite bone substitute in a rat tibia defect model

Xu W, Ganz C, Weber U, Adam M, Holzhüter G, Wolter D, Frerich B, Vollmar B, Gerber T

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2011, 6:1543-1552

Published Date: 2 August 2011

Self-assessed health of young-to-middle-aged adults in an English-speaking Caribbean nation

Paul A Bourne, Neva South-Bourne

Patient Related Outcome Measures 2010, 1:127-140

Published Date: 28 September 2010

Waiting for surgery from the patient perspective

Tracey Carr, Ulrich Teucher, Jackie Mann, Alan G Casson

Psychology Research and Behavior Management 2009, 2:107-119

Published Date: 14 October 2009

Randomized phase II clinical trial of chemo-immunotherapy in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer

Eduardo Lasalvia-Prisco, Emilio Garcia-Giralt, Jesús Vázquez, Marta Aghazarian, Eduardo Lasalvia-Galante, et al

Biologics: Targets and Therapy 2008, 2:555-561

Published Date: 12 September 2008

Emerging hematological targets and therapy for cardiovascular disease: From bench to bedside

Ana Villegas, Fernando A Gonzalez, Leopoldo Llorente, Santiago Redondo

Biologics: Targets and Therapy 2008, 2:397-407

Published Date: 12 September 2008

The route to diabetes: Loss of complexity in the glycemic profile from health through the metabolic syndrome to type 2 diabetes

Juan Churruca, Luis Vigil, Esther Luna, Julian Ruiz-Galiana, Manuel Varela

Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 2008, 1:3-11

Published Date: 11 August 2008