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Inclusion through folk high school in Sweden – the experience of young adult students with high-functioning autism

HUGO, Martin
HEDEGAARD, Joel
January 2020

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide a description of the learning environment at Folk High School for participants with high-functioning autism and to examine their learning experience at Folk High School.

 

Methods: A qualitative interview study was conducted with 21 participants who were enrolled at Folk High School which had been adapted to suit young adults with high-functioning autism. The interviews were analysed by means of a thematic content analysis which resulted in the identification of 6 themes related to learning experiences at Folk High School.

 

Results: The participants enjoyed themselves and felt secure at Folk High School. They felt that they and their academic endeavours were suitably recognised, acknowledged, and understood. They reported that the teaching was suitably adapted for them and they felt that they could succeed in their studies. A frequent report that they made concerned their experience of clear structures in the teaching process and its predictability. The participants stated that Folk High School has the ability to satisfy each participant’s needs, which entailed lower levels of perceived stress than what they had experienced in their previous schooling. The participants experienced personal development during their time at Folk High School.

 

Conclusions: Folk High School, and its special character, is able to successfully satisfy the needs of participants with high-functioning autism. Many of the participants, for the first time in their lives, experienced a sense of inclusion in an educational system and felt that they could succeed in their studies. However, there exists a risk that they become institutionalised, which entails that the participants function well primarily in Folk High School’s safe and caring environment.

Assessing significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses in occupational health care for workers with a chronic disease

SNIPPEN, Nicole C
DE VRIES, Haitze J
DE WIT, Mariska
VAN DER BURG-VERMEULEN, Sylvia J
BROUWER, Sandra
HAGEDOORN, Mariet
January 2020

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Purpose: To examine current practices of occupational health professionals in assessing significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses that may influence work outcomes of workers with a chronic disease.

 

Methods: A survey study among occupational health professionals, focusing on the assessment of illness perceptions, work-related beliefs and expectations, and behavioral responses of significant others of workers with a chronic disease. We performed linear regression analyses to investigate which factors are related to occupational health professionals’ assessment practices. We used thematic analysis to analyze qualitative data on occupational health professionals’ reasons to assess or overlook significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses.

 

Results: Our study sample included 192 occupational health professionals. Most seldom asked about significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses. Organizational norms and occupational health professionals’ self-efficacy were related to reported assessment practices. Reasons to assess significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses included recognizing their influence on work participation, and occurrence of stagnation. However, occupational health professionals indicated some doubt whether such assessment would always contribute to better care.

 

Conclusions: It is not common practice for occupational health professionals to assess significant others’ cognitions and behavioral responses, although they recognize the influence of these factors on work outcomes. More research is needed as to how occupational health professionals can best address the role of significant others, and apply these new insights in their daily practice.

What I think of school: perceptions of school by people with intellectual disabilities

VALENTIM, António
VALENTIM, Joaquim Pires
2019

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For people with intellectual disabilities who do not enter the labour market, school is usually the main chapter of their socialization with the wider society. Nevertheless, little is known about their long-term perceptions of this period. We conducted interviews and focus groups on the school experiences of 16 Portuguese adults with intellectual disabilities. Results show differences between older and younger participants in their accounts of social relations and educational methods, which result from changes in special educational policies in Portugal. Overall, members of both groups evaluate their school experience positively. Our results indicate that although there is a move towards more inclusive schools, discrimination is still prevalent. These results are discussed in terms of their psychosocial consequences, as well as their implications for educational policies, and inclusion. This study contributes to a better understanding of the school experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and how policies impact them.

Instating settings of emergency education in Vienna: temporary schooling of pupils with forced migration backgrounds

PROYER, Michelle
BIEWER, Gottfried
KREUTER, Linda
WEIß, Jekaterina
2019

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In the year 2015, Austria was one of the main European destinations of displaced persons. According to education authoritiesaround 15,000 children with a forced migration background of school age who arrived in Austria over the course of a few months from late2015 to the beginning of 2016 called for immediate and partly temporary solutions. Due to Austrian legislation and unlike other countries,every child living in Austria between the ages of six to fifteen (or for nine years of schooling) is entitled to receive compulsory education. Though the school administration of Vienna generally promotes an inclusive approach to education in regular schools, schools inneighbourhoods with a large refugee population were reportedly unable to provide appropriate and adequate education for all children. Inresponse, the local school authority in Vienna decided to establish temporary classrooms in refugee accommodations. This article describesand analyses the emergence of new educational structures from the point of view of university students and lecturers who took part in theone and a half years of its implementation. The article thereby aims to document specific perspectives on educational emergency measuresat a certain point of time. In both the primary and secondary sectors, the emergence of a new temporary field of specialised and exceptional education were observed and recorded in a thick description of dynamic processes of trans-institutional, trans-organisational, transprofessional, communal, and individual development. Thus, the article presents a multifaceted picture of problems in refugee education under exceptional circumstances. The findings illustrate how insufficient educational opportunities for those falling outside the age of compulsory schooling – in particular, preschool children as well as youth older than fifteen – diminish possibilities for the inclusion of these children within and beyond education.

Standing alone: sexual minority status and victimisation in a rural lower secondary school

ODENBRING, Ylva
2019

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Studies worldwide indicate that sexual minority students often face different forms of bullying in everyday life at school, and young people growing up in communities with conservative values, such as in rural areas, are often in a particularly vulnerable position. Nonetheless, there is an absence of studies addressing the everyday lives of sexual minority students in rural schools. Drawing on interviews with students in the ninth grade of a rural lower secondary school in Sweden, the current study has investigated experiences of violence and harassment routinely directed at sexual minority students at school. The results indicate that the local gender regime is strongly framed by heteronormative values that position non-heterosexual students as the Other. Sexual minority students are exposed to homophobic name-calling on a daily basis, and threats and physical violence are also common. To fit in and to ‘survive’ in school, sexual minority students are forced to accept the homophobic name-calling and are sometimes also forced to physically fight back. This study concludes that it is important that schools address issues around violence directed towards non- heterosexual students, and that ways to create a more inclusive and safe school environment be identified.

Teachers talk on student needs: exploring how teacher beliefs challenge inclusive education in a Norwegian context

AAS, Hanne Kristin
2019

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This study explores teacher talk in the early phase of a project in a Norwegian elementary school where Lesson Study is used as a method for professional development. The study focuses on inclusion and aims to explore what beliefs about student needs and teacher role and responsibilities become evident, and how these beliefs can challenge development towards a more inclusive practice. To this end, content analysis is applied to audio recordings of teacher teams’ planning meetings. Despite an overall positive attitude towards inclusion, and inclusive structures in the school, findings point at factors in teachers’ beliefs that can challenge the inclusion process. These factors are: student needs understood as individual problems, adaptation understood as individualised and laborious and a limited view on teacher role, where their responsibility mainly regard academic learning.

Pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance in young adults with cerebral palsy

VAN GORP, Marloes
DALLMEIJER, Annet J
VAN WELY, Leontien
DE GROOT, Vincent
TERWEE, Caroline B
FLENS, Gerard
STAM, Henk J
VAN DER SLOT, Wilma
ROEBROECK, Marij E
December 2019

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Purpose: Investigate pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance in young adults with cerebral palsy compared to references.

 

Materials and methods: Young adults with cerebral palsy (n = 97, aged 21–34 years) and age-matched references from the general population (n = 190) rated pain using a numeric rating scale and fatigue, depressive symptoms, sleep disturbance and global health using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® short forms. Scores were compared between cerebral palsy subgroups and the reference population. Correlation coefficients and linear regression analyses assessed interrelationships of health issues and associations with global health.

 

Results: Individuals with Gross Motor Function Classification System level I had less pain, fatigue and depressive symptoms, while individuals with levels II and III–V had more pain (53% and 56%, p < 0.001) and those with levels III–V more fatigue (39%, p = 0.035) than references (pain: 26%, fatigue: 14%). Pain and fatigue were more interrelated (correlation coefficients: 0.71 vs. 0.41) and stronger associated with global mental health in individuals with cerebral palsy.

 

Conclusions: Young adults with Gross Motor Function Classification System levels II–V report more pain and those with levels III–V report more fatigue than references. Pain and fatigue are highly interrelated and specifically relate to mental health in individuals with cerebral palsy.

An observation study of power practices and participation in group homes for people with intellectual disability

SVANELÖV, Eric
2019

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This study explored how participation constitutes and is constituted by practices of power in group homes for people with intellectual disability. The study used disciplinary power as theoretical perspective and was based on 50 h of observation in two group homes with a total of 15 residents. The analysis identifies practices of power and their relationship to individual agency and participation. The results show that institutional structures construct practices of power that define codes of conduct for the group home residents and their possibility for participation. This study offers implications for the daily lives of residents in group homes for people with intellectual disability.

Critique of deinstitutionalisation in postsocialist Central and Eastern Europe

MLADENOV, Teodor
PETRI, Gabor
2019

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In this paper, we explore critically deinstitutionalisation reform, focusing specifically on the postsocialist region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We argue that deinstitutionalisation in postsocialist CEE has generated re-institutionalising outcomes, including renovation of existing institutions and/or creation of new, smaller settings that have nevertheless reproduced key features of institutional life. To explain these trends, we first consider the historical background of the reform, highlighting the legacy of state socialism and the effects of postsocialist neoliberalisation. We then discuss the impact of ‘external’ drivers of deinstitutionalisation in CEE, particularly the European Union and its funding, as well as human rights discourses incorporated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The analysis is supported by looking at the current situation in Hungary and Bulgaria through recent reports by local civil society organisations. In conclusion, we propose some definitional tactics for redirecting existing resources towards genuine community-based services.

Gaps in access and school attainments among people with and without disabilities: a case from Nepal

EIDE, Arne H
LAMICHHANE, Kamal
Neupane, Shailes
November 2019

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Aim: Many children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries do not attend school and one-third are out of school. In order to ensure that education is for all including children with disabilities, research is needed on barriers to schooling to identify targets for intervention. The study will examine the determinants of school achievement among persons with and without disabilities as well as among each type of impairment.

 

Methods: The study will utilize data from a recent national, representative household survey on living conditions among persons with and without disabilities. The individual level data used in this article comprise 2123 persons with and 2000 persons without disabilities.

 

Results: The results show that an alarmingly high proportion of persons in Nepal have not accessed formal education, with access being significantly lower among persons with disabilities. While the results may be influenced by the assumed relationship between disability and poverty, results from analyzing the cross-sectional data cannot be conclusive on the influence of disability vs. poverty in determining differences in access and school attainments. Increased environmental barriers, higher age, rural location, and increased levels of disability were found to be associated with lower educational achievement. Pronounced differences in access to education were found between impairment types, with individuals with physical impairments achieving the highest level and individuals with multiple impairments, hearing and mental impairments achieving lowest.

 

Conclusions: It is necessary both to strengthen the entire educational sector and at the same time allocate resources that will ensure that all children are on board and that particular efforts are implemented to cater for those who are easily side-lined.

Preferences regarding the way of use and design of a work ability prognosis support tool: a focus group study among professionals

LOUWERSE, Ilse
HUYSMANS, Maaike A
VAN RIJSSEN, Jolanda H J
OVERVLIET, Joyce
VAN DER BEEK, Allard J
ANEMA, Johannes R
November 2019

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Purpose: To explore the preferable way of use and design of a work ability prognosis support tool for insurance physicians (IPs) and labour experts (LEs), based on a prediction model for future changes in work ability among individuals applying for a work disability benefit.

 

Methods: We conducted three focus groups with professionals of the Dutch Social Security Institute (17 IPs and 7 LEs). Data were audio recorded and qualitatively analysed according to the main principles of thematic analysis.

 

Results: Clarity and ease of use were mentioned as important features of the tool. Most professionals preferred to make their own judgement during the work disability assessment interview with the claimant and afterwards verify their evaluation with the tool. Concerning preferences on the design of the tool, dividing work disability claimants into categories based on the outcome of the prediction model was experienced as the most straightforward and clear way of presenting the results. Professionals expected that this encourages them to use the tool and act accordingly.

 

Conclusions: The tool should be easy to access and interpret, to increase the chance that professionals will use it. This way it can optimally help professionals making accurate prognoses of future changes in work ability.

Capability of deaf children with a cochlear implant

RIJKE, Wouter J
VERMEULEN, Anneke M
WENDRICK, Karine
MYLANUS, Emmanuel
LANGEREIS, Margreet C
VAN DER WILT, Gert Jan
November 2019

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Introduction: The main idea underlying this paper is that impairments such as deafness are particularly relevant to the extent that they lead to deprivation of capability. Likewise, the impact of healthcare services such as cochlear implants and subsequent rehabilitation can best be inferred from the extent that they protect or restore capability of those affected.

 

Methods: To explore children’s post-implant capabilities, we tested two newly developed digital, adaptive child self-report and parent-report questionnaires in 19 deaf children (aged 8–12 years) and their parents during rehabilitation, as well as in 23 age peers with normal hearing.

 

Results: Despite the impressive speech-language results that were recorded with cochlear implants, the post-implant capabilities of the deaf children we evaluated differed from those of their hearing peers, with the cochlear implant group appearing particularly disadvantaged in areas such as accessing information, communication, social participation, and participation in school.

 

Conclusion: Deaf children with cochlear implants who are performing well on linguistic and auditory tests can still experience serious limitations in desired functioning. Our findings suggest that a capability approach may reveal aspects of what is being achieved through rehabilitation that might otherwise remain unnoticed, and that could help to further improve the well-being of our patients.

Entering the labor market: increased employment rates of young adults with chronic physical conditions after a vocational rehabilitation program

BAL, Majolijn I
ROELOFS, Pepijn P D M
HILBERINK, Sander R
VAN MEETEREN, Jetty
STAM, Henk J
ROEBROECK, Marij E
MIEDEMA, Harald S
November 2019

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Purpose: Employment of young adults with chronic physical conditions entering the labor market after finishing post-secondary education remains behind compared to typically developing peers. The aim of this study is to evaluate changes in their paid employment levels after following a vocational rehabilitation intervention (‘At Work’).

 

Materials and methods: Participants aged between 16 and 27 years (n = 90) were recruited via rehabilitation physicians and a jobcoach agency and participated in a vocational rehabilitation program. Cochran’s Q and McNemar tests served to test the development of intervention participants’ paid employment over time. Chi-square tests were used to compare intervention participants’ paid employment level with national reference data selected on age and having a self-reported chronic physical condition.

 

Results: Paid employment level of the intervention cohort significantly increased from 10.0% at baseline to 42.4% at 2-years follow-up (p < 0.001). At 2-years follow-up, their employment rates approached the employment rates of national reference data (42.4% versus 52.9%, p = 0.17).

 

Conclusion: Starting from a disadvantaged position, the paid employment rate of the intervention cohort substantially increased over time, approaching the employment rate of reference data. ‘At Work’ seems to be appropriate for supporting this specific group who face obstacles to enter the labor market, to find competitive employment.

Exploring barriers to physical activity of patients at the internal medicine and surgical wards: a retrospective analysis of continuously collected data

KOENDERS, Niek
WEENK, Mariska
VAN DE BELT, Tom H
VAN GOOR, Harry
HOOGEBOOM, Thomas J
BREDIE, Sebastian J H
November 2019

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Purpose: To analyse physical activity of patients during their hospital stay and to explore the relationship between physical activity and barriers to physical activity.

 

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of physical activity data for patients admitted to the internal medicine and surgical wards. Physical activity data, collected with a wireless patch sensor, was operationalized as time spent lying, sitting/standing, and walking. Barriers to physical activity included patients’ pain levels, the use of urinary catheters, intravenous tubing, oxygen lines, drains, and level of dependence. Regression analysis explored the relationship between physical activity and barriers to physical activity.

 

Results: Physical activity data were collected in 39 patients (aged 27–88, mean 54 years) during hospital stay. Patients were admitted for a median of 10 d (interquartile range [IQR]: 7–15 d). These patients were lying for a median of 12.1 h (7.6–17.7), sitting/standing 11.8 h (6.3–15.7), and walking 0.1 h (0–0.3) per day. Time lying during the day related to pain levels (β = 0.4 h per unit increase in pain, p < 0.01) and drain use (β = 3.1 h, p < 0.01).

 

Conclusions: Patients spent the most time during the hospital stay lying in bed. Improved pain management and decreased drain use may be worth exploring to increase inpatient physical activity.

Objective and subjective measures of physical functioning in women with fibromyalgia: what type of measure is associated most clearly with subjective well-being?

MUNGUIA-IZQUIERDO, Diego
PULIDO-MARTOS, Manuel
ACOSTA, Francisco M
ACOSTA-MANZANO, Pedro
GAVILAN-CARRERA, Blanca
RODRIGUEZ-AYLLON, Maria
GEENEN, Rinie
DELGADO-FERNANDEZ, Manuel
ALVAREZ-GALLARDO, Inmaculada C
SEGURA-JIMENEZ, Victor
WALITT, Brian
ESTEVEZ-LOPEZ, Fernando
October 2019

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Purpose: To find modifiable factors that are related to subjective well-being would be valuable for improving interventions in fibromyalgia. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and physical fitness may represent potential areas to optimize treatment regimens. In fibromyalgia, there is a discordance between clinical observations and patient-reported outcomes (objective and subjective assessments). Therefore, the present study aims at analyzing the associations of objective and subjective evaluations of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and physical fitness with subjective well-being and determine if and how objective and subjective associations differ.

 

Methods: In this population-based cross-sectional study participated 375 women with fibromyalgia from the al-Ándalus project (Spain). Physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and physical fitness were objectively (accelerometers and performance testing) and subjectively (questionnaires) measured. Participants self-reported their levels of positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

 

Results: In the most conservative multivariate analysis, we found independent associations of the objective measures of physical activity with positive affect and life satisfaction and sedentary behaviour with positive affect. No such relationship was seen with subjective measures of the same behaviours. Moreover, we observed that objective and subjective physical fitness evaluations were independent of each other related to subjective well-being.

 

Conclusions: Independent associations of the objective measures (but not the subjective assessments) of physical activity with positive affect and life satisfaction, and of sedentary behaviour with positive affect were observed. However, objective measures and subjective appraisals of physical fitness appear to be independently related to well-being, which should be considered when developing physical exercise interventions for fibromyalgia.

Social insurance literacy: a scoping review on how to define and measure it

STAHL, Christian
KARLSSON, Elin A
SANDQVIST, Jan
HENSING, Gunnel
BROUWER, Sandra
FRIBERG, Emilie
MACEACHEN, Ellen
October 2019

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Purpose: Sickness insurance and workers’ compensation systems decide on peoples’ eligibility for benefits, and are commonly based on medical certificates and assessments of work ability. Systems differ in the extent to which they preserve clients’ dignity and right to fair assessments. In this article, we define a new concept for studying interactions between individuals and systems: social insurance literacy, which concerns how well people understand the different procedures and regulations in social insurance systems, and how well systems communicate with clients in order to help them understand the system.

 

Methods: The concept was defined through a scoping literature review of related concepts, a conceptual re-analysis in relation to the social insurance field, and a following workshop.

 

Results: Five related concepts were reviewed for definitions and operationalizations: health literacy, financial/economic literacy, legal capability/ability, social security literacy, and insurance literacy.

 

Conclusions: Social insurance literacy is defined as the extent to which individuals can obtain, understand and act on information in a social insurance system, related to the comprehensibility of the information provided by the system. This definition is rooted in theories from sociology, social medicine and public health. In the next step, a measure for the concept will be developed based on this review.

Balancing care and work: a case study of recognition in a social enterprise

BLONK, L
HUIJBEN, T
BREDEWOLD, F
TONKENS, E
2019

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This paper discusses a case study of a Dutch work-integration social enterprise (WISE) to add to the debate on the contribution of employment to the citizenship of intellectually disabled people and those experiencing mental health conditions. In current welfare state policies, the value of labour market participation is narrowed down to regular employment, as workplace support and care provisions are seen as stigmatising and segregating. We argue that a more nuanced understanding is needed of the intersection of support arrangements with the benefits of employment. Building on ‘recognition theory’ by the German philosopher Honneth, our findings show that the work-integration social enterprise under study is successfully balancing the contrasting demands of logics of care and work, leading to experiences of ‘recognition.’ However, this balance is fragile and does not undo the misrecognition of disabled people as unable to live up to the productivity norms of a capitalist labour market.

Storying disability’s potential

WHITBURN, Ben
GOODLEY, Dan
2019

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In this paper, we weave in and out of theory and narrative in order to consider the potential of disability and its relationship to knowledge construction. We consider theories to be stories that one can tell about the world. And these theories are enlivened by other stories that we tell about ourselves and the world around us. As disability researchers, we explore the ways in which disability becomes known in the world and we do so through our own tales and theoretical narratives of knowing disability. In telling stories, then, we break down artificial boundaries between theory and narrative. And in theorising our stories – and storying our theories – we seek to explore the potential of disability to unsettle and challenge exclusionary curriculum. This textual assemblage traverses diverse themes including diagnosis, school programming, welfare, transportation, social interaction and access.

Prevalence, identification, and interference of pain in young children with cerebral palsy: a population-based study

TEDROFF, Kristina
GYLLENSVARD, Mirja
LOWING, Kristina
September 2019

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Objective: To explore the presence of pain, how pain was addressed by physicians and parents, and how pain affected everyday life in young children with cerebral palsy (CP).

 

Methods: Children with CP, aged 5–10 years, participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected from medical records spanning a period of two years and by a standardized parental interview that included six structured questions and the Pain Interference Index.

 

Results: A total of 118 children, with a mean age of 7.4 years (SD 1.5), participated in the study. The parents of 81% of these children were interviewed. Pain was reported in 52% of the children, and pain was present at all severity levels. The prescription of analgesics was documented in 25% of these children’s medical records. Fifty-nine percent of the children with pain received analgesics from their parents. Pain restricted the children’s everyday lives particularly concerning sleep, school work and being with friends.

 

Conclusions: Half of this group of young children with CP were reported to have pain. Pain restricted the children's everyday lives and seemed to be under-treated. If pain can be addressed early, the children's everyday lives are likely to be improved.

The concept of welfare technology in Swedish municipal eldercare

FRENNERT, Susanne
BAUDIN, Katarina
September 2019

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Purpose: An ageing population presents a challenge for municipal eldercare in Sweden due to difficulties recruiting staff and there being a strained economy. A strategy involving welfare technology is presented as one such solution. An important group to carry out this strategy involves those who work with welfare technology in municipal eldercare. In this paper we describe their perception of welfare technology, and the challenges and opportunities they perceive in utilizing it.

 

Methods: A self-administered online questionnaire was distributed to all Swedish municipalities and answered by 393 respondents. Analyses show that the respondents were representative of the different professions who work with welfare technology within municipal eldercare.

 

Results: Welfare technology was perceived as being more reliable and safer than humans with regards to supervisions and reminders. The respondents acknowledged factors that slowed down the implementation of welfare technology in municipal eldercare organizations, such as resistance to change, lack of finances, lack of supporting evidence, lack of infrastructure, high staff turnover, difficulties with procurement and uncertainties about responsibility and laws.

 

Conclusions: We found that the people who work with and make decisions about welfare technology in municipal eldercare organizations were generally very positive about the deployment and use of such technology, but there appear to be problems within municipal eldercare organizations to realize this vision. The lack of structured implementation processes and coherent evaluation models indicates inequality of the access to welfare technology and, as a result, even though Swedish eldercare is publicly funded, the availability of welfare technologies and their usage differ between municipalities.

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