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1.  Patients in 24-hour home care striving for control and safety 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:9.
Background
This article concerns Swedish patients receiving 24-hour home care from health care assistants (HC assistants) employed by the municipality. Home care is a complex interactive process involving the patient, family, HC assistants as well as professional care providers. Previous studies exploring patient perspectives on home care have been based mainly on patient interviews. In contrast, the present study took a broad perspective on patients’ experiences and thoughts by combining field observations on care situations with patient and HC assistant interviews. The aim of the study presented in this article was to promote a new and broadened understanding of patients receiving 24-hour home care by constructing a theoretical model to illuminate their main concern.
Methods
Field observations and semi-structured interviews were conducted with four patients receiving 24-hour home care and their HC assistants. Grounded theory methodology was used.
Results
The core process identified was Grasping the lifeline, which describes compensatory processes through which patients strived for control and safe care when experiencing a number of exposed states due to inadequate home care. Patients tried to take control by selecting their own HC assistants and sought safe hands by instructing untrained HC assistants in care procedures. When navigating the care system, the patients maintained contacts with professional care providers and coordinated their own care. When necessary, a devoted HC assistant could take over the navigating role. The results are illuminated in a theoretical model.
Conclusions
The results accentuate the importance to patients of participating in their own care, especially in the selection of HC assistants. The model illustrates some challenging areas for improvement within the organisation of 24-hour home care, such as personnel continuity and competence, collaboration, and routines for acute care. Furthermore, it may be used as a basis for reflection during the planning of care for individual patients within home care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-11-9
PMCID: PMC3482607  PMID: 22697419
2.  From risky to safer home care: health care assistants striving to overcome a lack of training, supervision, and support 
Patients receiving home care are becoming increasingly dependent upon competent caregivers’ 24-h availability due to their substantial care needs, often with advanced care and home care technology included. In Sweden, care is often carried out by municipality-employed paraprofessionals such as health care assistants (HC assistants) with limited or no health care training, performing advanced care without formal training or support. The aim of this study was to investigate the work experience of the HC assistants and to explore how they manage when delivering 24-h home care to patients with substantial care needs. Grounded theory methodology involving multiple data sources comprising interviews with HC assistants (n=19) and field observations in patients’ homes was used to collect data and constant comparative analysis was used for analysis. The initial analysis revealed a number of barriers, competence gap; trapped in the home setting; poor supervision and unconnected to the patient care system, describing the risks associated with the situations of HC assistants working in home care, thus affecting their working conditions as well as the patient care. The core process identified was the HC assistants’ strivings to combine safe home care with good working conditions by using compensatory processes. The four identified compensatory processes were: day-by-day learning; balancing relations with the patient; self-managing; and navigating the patient care system. By actively employing the compensatory processes, the HC assistants could be said to adopt an inclusive approach, by compensating for their own barriers as well as those of their colleagues’ and taking overall responsibility for their workplace. In conclusion, the importance of supporting HC assistants in relation to their needs for training, supervision,and support from health care professionals must be addressed when organising 24-h home care to patients with substantial care needs in the future.
doi:10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20758
PMCID: PMC3664060  PMID: 23706410
Home care; home care technology; paraprofessional caregivers; training needs; grounded theory

Results 1-2 (2)