Narrative competence in caring encounters with persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities form a vulnerable group within the Norwegian health and social care system, whose needs can be poorly understood due to their cognitive and communicative challenges. This article aims to contribute to a richer understanding of persons with profound disabilities as narrative agents, and to highlight how the narrative competence of healthcare staff can be instrumental to a person-centred approach. The methodology used was a practice development project in residential housing for persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. Dialogue seminars and reflection seminars with staff were conducted, and a group interview was carried out. Episodes of emotional, embodied and silent narratives were identified. These episodes illustrated the staff’s narrative competence in bodily enacted caring encounters. Conclusion: This small-scale practice development project can contribute to changes and new ways forward towards person-centred care for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities living in residential housing.