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Qualitative instruments involving clients as co-researchers to assess and improve the quality of care relationships in long-term care: an evaluation of instruments to enhance client participation in quality research.

Scheffelaar, A., Bos, N., Triemstra, M., Jong, M. de, Luijkx, K., Dulmen, S. van. Qualitative instruments involving clients as co-researchers to assess and improve the quality of care relationships in long-term care: an evaluation of instruments to enhance client participation in quality research. BMJ Open: 2020, 10(2), 14 p.
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Objectives
Enhancing the active involvement of clients as co-researchers is seen as a promising innovation in quality research. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and usability of five qualitative instruments used by co-researchers for assessing the quality of care relationships in long-term care.

Design and setting
A qualitative evaluation was performed in three care organisations each focused on one of the following three client groups: frail older adults, people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities. A total of 140 respondents participated in this study. The data comprised observations by researchers and experiences from co-researchers, clients and professionals.

Results
Two instruments scored best on feasibility and usability and can therefore both be used by co-researchers to monitor the quality of care relationships from the client perspective in long-term care.

Conclusions
The selected instruments let co-researchers interview other clients about their experiences with care relationships. The study findings are useful for long-term care organisations and client councils who are willing to give clients an active role in quality improvement.