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Improving interprofessional practice for vulnerable older people: gaining a better understanding of vulnerability

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clare Abley, Professor John Bond, Professor Dame Louise Robinson


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A key focus for professionals working with older people in the community is on those who are vulnerable, although this vulnerability is not well defined. This study sought the views of health and social care professionals and older people on vulnerability, identifying significant differences between professional and older people's perspectives. It found that for older people, vulnerability is an emotional response to being in a specific situation, whereas for professionals, the vulnerability of those on their case loads relates to them having certain or a combination of characteristics (physical, psychological and social). The paper concludes that interprofessional care for older people in the community could be improved firstly by asking older people if they ever feel vulnerable and if so, in what situations and secondly by focusing team efforts on addressing the issues raised by older people in response to these questions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abley C, Bond J, Robinson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Interprofessional Care

Year: 2011

Volume: 25

Issue: 5

Pages: 359-365

Print publication date: 01/09/2011

ISSN (print): 1356-1820

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9567

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2011.579195


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