A Seat at the Table: The Positioning of Families During Care Conferences in Nursing Homes. By: Puurveen, Gloria; Cooke, Heather; Gill, Rupali; Baumbusch, Jennifer. Gerontologist. Oct2019, Vol. 59 Issue 5, p835-844. 10p.

Background and Objectives Current nursing home policy emphasizes the need for collaborative, team-based care planning in which families and/or residents are actively involved. Resident care conferences are common where care providers, families, and/or residents discuss and coordinate resident care needs and evaluate care goals. This study critically examines the process, structure, and content of care conferences to expand our understanding of how resident care is negotiated among care providers and families in this context. Research Design and Methods This study was part of a larger critical ethnography examining the negotiation of care work among care providers, families, and residents in three purposively selected nursing homes in British Columbia, Canada. Thirty-seven care conferences were observed. Field notes and interview data were thematically analyzed with a focus on what was said, who said what and to whom, whose voice was privileged, and how power manifested between care providers, families, and/or residents. Results As illustrated by three key themes, Exclusion by Process—Following Script, Exclusion by Content—Scripted Reports, and Exclusion through Devalued Knowledge, families were overtly and covertly excluded from contributing to the care conferences. As such, families’ presence did not guarantee open communication or active solicitation of their perspectives. Discussion and Implications The use of predetermined agendas and processes, clinically generic reporting, and technical jargon reproduced the structural inequality between care providers and families making collaboration difficult to effectively negotiate. For care conferences to meaningfully contribute to person-centered care, it is imperative that mutual exchange be promoted and families empowered to participate as equals.