Power relations: enhancing the delivery of a palliative approach in an aged care setting

Sharon Andrews, Fran McInerney and Andrew Robinson

in Participatory Research in Palliative Care

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644155
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191749094 | DOI:
Power relations: enhancing the delivery of a palliative approach in an aged care setting

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This chapter reports on a critical action research study that focused on the development of relationships between aged care staff and family members of people with dementia, in the context of a palliative approach to care. The chapter begins with a discussion of some of the theoretical perspectives underpinning critical action research, post-structural understandings of power and how power relations can present challenges to the conduct of action research. Drawing on our study data we explore how aged care staff unwittingly exercise power to support organizational interests that undermine the establishment the of collaborative relationships with family members. We also discuss, how power relations may be negotiated in the action research action process to open a ‘communicative space’ so that aged care staffcan arrive at a critique of their situation and reconfigure how they exercise power to produce more equitable and productive relationships with family members.

Keywords: critical action research; power relations; communicative space; nursing homes; palliative approach

Chapter.  5047 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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