How care providers construct and frame problems related to violence in institutional care for older people

Commun Med. 2010;7(2):155-64.


The aim of the present study was to describe how care providers discursively constructed and framed problems related to the occurrence of violence in their interactions with older persons in institutional care. The study followed a social constructionist approach where violence was considered a social phenomenon constructed in discursive processes. It was based on the assumption that in the way in which a problem is articulated is closely connected to solutions that are possible and relevant in a given context. The analysed corpus comprised narrative interviews with 46 care providers who had been involved in violence that occurred in social interactions with older persons. The analysis was inspired by discourse theory. The problems concerned legitimization, illness, bodily care, competence and profession and relieved responsibility. The constructions of the problems are manifestations of discourses. The prevailing discourses in the text are the medical and the physical. The construction of problems can be used to challenge dominant ways of thinking as well as the beliefs and common understandings about the subject.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Elder Abuse / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes
  • Problem Solving*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden