Narrative accountability and quality awareness: Learning about (re)presenting narrative care

J Aging Stud. 2015 Aug;34:190-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.006. Epub 2015 Mar 18.


Over the years, the dominant accountability structures for eldercare in the Netherlands have conceptualized "care" in mainly quantitative terms, based on measurable outcomes and performance indicators. This article describes a two-year program that was designed to find ways for a renewed story of accountability and quality with a more "story conscious" way of engaging with the realities of both life and care. From the autoethnographical stance of the program manager, the article first provides the historical background of the program, tracing its roots in narrative gerontology. Second, it outlines the design of the program, which was meant to combine the practice of care organizations with scientific research and policy making. Third, it sheds light on issues of quality and accountability when eldercare is approached as a social constructionist practice. It concludes with some thoughts on how the learning gained in setting up the program are relevant to future policies regarding quality and accountability in eldercare.

Keywords: Health care accountability; Narrative care; Quality awareness; Quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Services for the Aged / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Narrative Therapy*
  • Netherlands
  • Organizational Policy
  • Policy Making
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Social Responsibility*