The Impact of Care Process on Satisfaction with Elderly Care

Sammanfattning: This licentiate thesis is based on the growing interest in Swedish elderly care. The aim of this thesis is to investigate what generates satisfaction with elderly care among older persons. The dominant ideology in both privately and publically run elderly care is individualized care, also called person-centered care, which holds the older person’s satisfaction as one of the main quality indicators. The proportion of older people is increasing and to maintain high levels of satisfaction with elderly care will require more knowledge. Data from the National Board of Health and Welfare’s (2012) nationwide survey on seniors’ experiences with elderly care was collected. Statistical analyses of this sample formed the basis for the results of the thesis and were reported in two papers. Study I used Donabedian’s (1988) model of quality of care in terms of structure, process, and outcome, and all municipal units in Sweden were included (N = 324). The results showed that structural variables (i.e. budget, staff, and training level) have minimal or no relationships with older persons’ satisfaction with care, while process variables (i.e. experiences of respect, information, and influence) have strong relationships with satisfaction with care. Study II made use of the long-standing person versus situation- model in social psychology, and was analyzed on an individual level (N = 95,000). The results showed that care process factors (i.e. experiences of treatment, safeness, staff- and time-availability) had a stronger relationship, than individual factors (i.e. health, anxiety, and loneliness) with satisfaction with care. The results also showed that older persons with home care generally felt better treated than older persons in nursing homes, but also felt less safe. Mediational analyses, based on this comprehensive elderly data, suggest that the individual aging condition of loneliness can be countered by providing safeness and treatment, resulting in high satisfaction with care. In conclusion, satisfaction with elderly care in Sweden today can largely be explained from a psychological perspective by the older persons’ perception of the care process, not by the amount of structural resources or the conditions of the aging persons. These findings could help facilitate the future quality development in municipalities and care organizations.

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