Trust in older persons: A quantitative analysis of alignment in triads of older persons, informal carers and home care nurses

Kirti D. Doekhie*, Mathilde M. H. Strating, Martina Buljac-Samardzic, Jaap Paauwe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Self-management by older persons could be influenced by the level of trust found in triads of informal carers, formal care providers and care recipient, the older person. Little research has been done on care providers' trust in older persons. This study aims to explore the level of trust that informal carers and home care nurses have in older persons, the extent of alignment in triads and the relationship between trust in older persons and self-management. We conducted a cross-sectional survey study in the Netherlands, sampling 133 older persons, 64 informal carers and 72 nurses, which resulted in 39 triads. Alignment level was analysed through Intraclass Correlation Coefficient 1 scores and absolute and mean difference scores. Correlation analysis and one-way analysis of variance measured the relationship between trust and self-management. The results show that triads contain both alignment and misalignment. Misalignment occurs mostly when informal carers and nurses have little trust in the older person while this person views their own behaviour towards their caregivers positively. Care providers' trust levels relate significantly to their perception of the person's ability to self-manage, but not to the person's self-rated ability. This could be explained by care providers not communicating their intrinsic trust in the older person to them. Trust building could be enhanced by organising discussions of mutual expectations of trust and both formal and informal care providers could benefit from compassionate assessment training, to learn how to openly express their trust in the older person.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1506
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • informal carers
  • primary care
  • self-management
  • triads
  • trust


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