ESR 8: Tri-National Ethnographic Multi-Case Study of Quality of Life in Long-Term Residential Care

16 April 2020

Early Stage Researcher 8 - Megan Davies - University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Tri-National Ethnographic Multi-Case Study of Quality of Life in Long-Term Residential Care

Project update:
The ESR8 project sits in work package 2 of TRANS-SENIOR, which seeks to improve unavoidable transitions into long-term care. Megan has recently submitted her long proposal to Universität Basel and is excited to start working on a meta-ethnography and begin ethnographic observations and interviews in the coming weeks. This work will allow her to explore person-centered care following a transition into long-term residential care from a theoretical and applied perspective. The aim of this is to look at the relationship between person-centered care and quality of life in order to report prospective guidance to optimize experiences in care following unavoidable transitions. Megan is particularly excited to begin ethnographic work in care homes in Switzerland, the UK and The Netherlands, which will allow her to observe care structures, explore the concept of quality of life from different perspectives in interviews, and understand the process of transitions into care and how this could be optimized through interviews and document analysis.

Project leaders:
Dr. Franziska Zúñiga, Dr. des. Sandra Staudacher, Prof. Dr. Michael Simon, Institute of Nursing Science (INS), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Dr. Hilde Verbeek, Maastricht University
Dr. Markus Leser, Curaviva Schweiz, Bern, Switzerland

Objectives of the project:

1. To explore interrelations between Person-Centred Care and Quality of Life following a permanent transition into Long-Term Residential Care from a qualitative perspective.

2. To compare and contrast self-reported and observed Quality of Life following a permanent transition to a Long-Term Residential Care facility from the viewpoint of residents, family members and staff in an in-depth case study.

3. To explore the impact of a person-centred organisational culture on Quality of Life following a permanent transition into Long-Term Residential Care in a multi-case study in 3 European countries using ethnographic methods.

Following a meta-ethnography to explore interrelations between person-centred care models and resident quality of life following a transition into long-term residential care, the early stage researcher will perform an exploratory, multi-case study to arrive at an in-depth, multiple perspective examination of three person-centred care models and quality of life in Switzerland, The UK and The Netherlands. The case studies will capture the perspectives of residents, health care providers and family/friends of residents through ethnographic interviews and observations, to learn how transitions to the nursing home are handled and how the transition, organizational model and quality of life are experienced by the resident. By observing the similarities and differences in organizational structures, this project will gain insight into cross-national issues and derive lessons for future person-centred care models.

Expected results:

1. This project will provide in-depth insights into different perspectives on quality of life and person-centred care in long-term residential care in 3 European countries.

2. This is to advance the basis for person-centred care and provide an understanding of the variance in reporting between the perceptions of quality of life of the different actors.

3. This project will include people living with dementia and cognitive decline, an otherwise overlooked population in long-term residential care research.

The early stage researcher is expected to achieve his/her PhD in Nursing Science within a timeframe of 4 years, and will contribute to teaching activities at the INS.


  • Academic secondment & Joint degree university:
    Maastricht University.
    Supervisor: Dr. Hilde Verbeek
  • Non-academic secondments:
    CURAVIVA, Bern, Switzerland. (The time in Switzerland will be distributed between CURAVIVA in Bern and University of Basel throughout the PhD)
    Supervisor: Markus Leser.
    MeanderGroep Zuid Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    Supervisor: Jack Jansen


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