Autonomy, choice, and decision making: How nursing home social workers view their role

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Abstract

Open-ended interviews with 17 social workers from rural and urban Minnesota nursing homes explore how the practitioners perceive their roles in fostering the autonomy and decision making of residents. The social workers' espoused theory of practice is organized under three dimensions of autonomy: free action (supporting residents' choices), decision making (helping residents deliberate effectively), and continuity (maintaining a sense of self). The interviewees, strongly identify with an advocacy role; helping residents make decisions appears less salient. The discussion explores the interviewees' perspectives and strategies, and suggests further research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 1999

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Decision making
  • Elderly
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing homes
  • Self- determination act

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