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Verbal strategies for supportive approach in need assessment dialogues with elderly
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Välfärd och Livslopp)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3870-6426
2010 (English)In: CONSTRUCTING Communication as care, - tools, talk and tasks, 2010Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Need assessments dialogues are framed by a bureaucratically order which fuel communicative problems, negative for the elderly clients’ well-being as not understanding the information, feeling of patronage patterns, etc. However, supportive utterances and commentaries are frequently used to accomplish the goal of individual-centered care and the utterances serve indirectly a purpose of supporting the individuals’ well-being. Thus, the dialogues are tools for constructing communication as care.


Aim: The aim is to explore the use of supportive utterances and commentaries as recourses and verbal strategies for wellbeing in constructing communication as care.


Methods: Supportive utterances are here understood as positively affective speech acts and are analyzed in interaction between elderly clients and care managers. The dialogues were recorded, transcribed and translated verbatim. An activity analysis of institutional settings and categorization of supportive utterances was made. There was a twofold focus: (i) how professionals initiate supportive utterances, and (ii) how the elderly clients orient to such utterances.


Findings: I am making two major points about verbal strategies in need assessment dialogues. Firstly, each supportive utterance serves several purposes, one of them to confirm the expert role of the case manager. Secondly, verbal strategies in client-expertise dialogues reflect resources that are essential in the expert system to accomplish goals of individual wellbeing.


Implications: Knowledge about supportive utterances as verbal strategies contributes crucially to feelings of well-being and to attitudes toward the need assessment dialogues, and furthermore, how the dialogues can be client-oriented and pedagogical.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Discourse; need assessment; elderly; care; supportive-utterance; well-being; verbal strategies.
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-238150OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-238150DiVA: diva2:770158
the 8th International interdisciplinary conference on COMMUNICATION, MEDICINE AND ETHICS (COMET), held in Boston, USA. June 29th. 2010
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2015-01-15

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Hellström Muhli, Ulla
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