Reciprocity and caregiver competencies. An explorative study of Person-Attuned Interaction in dementia care

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Despite the impact of dementia, people’s needs to connect with others and their environment remains. With progression of a dementia disease, a person will gradually be more dependent on assistance and care. In this study, we aimed to conceptualise our understanding of person-centred dementia care, theoretically based on Tom Kitwood’s ontology of personhood. A hermeneutic constructivist approach with four explorative phases allowed for a metaphorical way of working with implicit knowledge related to professional caregiving. We used Lego Serious Play™ for data collection and as a method for exploring, articulating, and conceptualising how we understood caregiver interactions. Based on our analysis, we developed a co-created, condensed model suggesting an ideographic understanding of person-attuned interactions in caregiving, emphasizing knowledge about personhood and reciprocity. We unfolded how professional caregivers represent an essential value in dementia care by providing a feeling of safety through person-attuned interactions, introspection and mentalisation. We found that caregiver competencies depend on resources, culture, and interdisciplinary collaboration, which puts a strong demand on continuous training and supervision and for political and societal priorities.
TidsskriftQualitative Studies
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)109-135
StatusUdgivet - 25 feb. 2024


  • Dementia care
  • Interaction
  • Attunement
  • Caregiver competencies
  • Lego Serious Play


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