The logic of care and the logic of audit in residential care for older persons: Learning from international comparative research and feminist care theory

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 31/12/2017
Funding: 2095000 SEK


Ensuring that older people in nursing homes receive good care is a major challenge in Sweden and internationally. Approaches to quality have increasingly been influenced by paradigms arising from the for-profit sector, such as marketisation and auditing. However research, particularly from Anglophone liberal countries, with long traditions of for-profit institutions shows that the auditing – e.g., regulation, measurement and monitoring – can make it more difficult for careworkers to flexibly meet residents’ changing needs. By contrast, this study draws on feminist care theories which recognize that care has its own unique “logic” that must be taken into account if high quality care is to be ensured. This project’s objective is to learn how a logic of care can contribute to the development of meaningful alternatives to auditing. It seeks to learn from the comparison of the logics of care and audit in two national contexts: Sweden with a traditionally more trust-based model of control and Canada with a much stricter and more detailed audit apparatus. The applicant, Albert Banerjee from Canada, is an expert on audit models and care theories. During his stay in Sweden he will collaborate with leading Swedish care researchers in the Department of Social Work at Stockholm University. This study will draw on rich ethnographic materials including observations and interviews at two Swedish and two Canadian nursing homes, collected during 2013-2014 as part of a larger international project. Additional interviews will be conducted with national and local inspectors of eldercare quality and with nursing home managers and care workers in both Canada and Sweden. This study will make scientific contributions to the understanding of the opportunities and constraints of the logics of care and of audit. It will also make applied contributions to evidence-informed quality improvement of nursing home care for older persons.

Last updated on 2017-11-05 at 13:47