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Ana Paula Gil and Manuel Luis Capelas
Reciprocal abuse inside care practices remain under-studied due to their invisibility and further research is required. The purpose of this paper is to explore different…
Reciprocal abuse inside care practices remain under-studied due to their invisibility and further research is required. The purpose of this paper is to explore different levels of conflicts inside organisations.
The paper is based on a self-administered questionnaire filled out by care workers (n = 150), in 16 Portuguese care homes.
Results indicated that, overall, 54.7% of care workers had observed abuse, in their daily practice, in the preceding 12 months: 48.7% psychological; 36.0% neglectful care practices; 14.0% physical and 3.3% financial abuse. The figures decreased significantly as regards abuse committed themselves, with 16.7% of those admitting to having committed at least one of these behaviours. The highest figures were also recorded for psychological abuse (13.3%) and neglect (6.7%). However, there is a statistically significant relationship between abuse committed by care workers and abuse committed by residents. Overall, 52.0% of care workers reported having been the target of at least one such behaviour by residents.
This paper has its limitations as the sample consisted of only 16 nursing homes (12 not-for-profit and 4 for-profit nursing homes). The fact that only 4 of the 16 LTC homes were for-profit is a potential limitation both in general and in particular because research has shown that lower quality of care and elder abuse and neglect are more common in for-profit nursing homes at least in Portugal. The results were also based on self-reported measures.
A reactive behaviour, the risk of retaliation, after a complaint, the difficulty in dealing with dementia and the residents' aggressive behaviour, an absence of a training and support policy in an environment where difficult working conditions prevail, are factors enhancing a reciprocal process of abuse. The analysis followed by a discussion of potential implications to prevent institutional elder abuse and neglect, based on communication and social recognition, including better working conditions and training, and a cooperative work environment.
Conflict is much more than reducing an interpersonal relationship problem between residents and staff (care workers, professional staff, managers) and extending to the whole organisation. Therefore, there are still uncertainties on how organisations, staff and residents interact between themselves, and affect care practises.
Reciprocal abuse in nursing homes is an important area of research and this paper enabled a discussion of potential implications concerning the quality of care, which required the identification of levels of conflict, in an organisational system, including interactions, the context where care is provided, difficult working conditions, lack of training and levels of support. All these factors are important when considering elder abuse and neglect and this calls for special attention by policymakers and researchers.
Dina M.R. Mateus, Henrique J.O. Pinho, Isabel M.D.P. Nogueira, Manuel A.N.H. Rosa, Marco A.M. Cartaxo and Valentim M.B. Nunes
The purpose of this paper is to describe the case of the Valorbio research project, in which students of different high-level programs were involved in the experimental…
The purpose of this paper is to describe the case of the Valorbio research project, in which students of different high-level programs were involved in the experimental work and in the dissemination of results in collaboration with the research team.
The inclusion in higher education curricula of content related to the sustainable development should be a preferred mechanism for the dissemination of good practices of sustainability. Another equally important way to achieve this is to involve students in research projects that seek solutions to the societal challenges related to sustainable growth. The Valorbio project aims to meet the needs for treating and reusing wastewater and solid waste. Its main goal was the development of modular systems for wastewater treatment based on constructed wetlands, exploring the possibility of the treatment systems being composed of solid waste and by-products from significant industrial sectors.
The students’ contribution to the research work was relevant and simultaneously allowed them to acquire skills on sustainable development. Additionally, the students contributed to the dissemination of the results. The Valorbio project can thus be considered a successful application of the concept of project-based learning (PBL), as a way to include sustainability issues content in the higher education curricula.
The applied experimental work had an original approach regarding the equipment design, the waste materials valuation, as well as the integration of waste treatment processes in the circular economy paradigm. This paper is the first reported PBL experience involving students of short-cycle technical–professional programs in partnership with first and second-level students and a research team.