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Emotional communication with older people: a cross-sectional study of home care.

Höglander, J., Sundler, A.J., Spreeuwenberg, P., Holmström, I.K., Eide, H., Dulmen, S. van. Emotional communication with older people: a cross-sectional study of home care. Nursing & Health Sciences: 2019, 21(3), p. 382-389
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Objective
The aim of this study was to explore the influence of characteristics of nurses and older people on emotional communication in home care settings.

Method
A generalized, linear, mixed model was used to analyze 188 audio‐recorded home care visits coded with Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences.

Results
The results showed that most emotional distress was expressed by older females or with female nurses. The elicitation of an expression of emotional distress was influenced by the nurses' native language and profession. Older women aged 65–84 years were given the most space for emotional expression. We found that emotional communication was primarily influenced by sex for nurses and older people, with an impact on the frequency of expressions of and responses to emotional distress. Expressions of emotional distress by older males were less common and could risk being missed in communication.

Conclusion
The results have implications for students' and health professionals' education in increasing their knowledge of and attentiveness to the impacts of their and others' characteristics and stereotypes on emotional communication with older people.