How do we facilitate carers’ involvement in decision making?
Overall, the carers were dissatisfied with their level of involvement. Findings suggest that this is partly because there were no agreed procedures or objectives for carer involvement, which meant that carers had to be assertive to be involved. While some carers may have had unrealistic expectations of their involvement, the lack of communication and transparency about how decisions were made added to their frustration. For some nurses, meanwhile, carers were a source of stress and were therefore to be avoided.
The study notes that there is a need for management strategies to support nurses and carers to negotiate their involvement openly, and suggests some questions that health practitioners can ask to guide the development of partnerships with carers.