An observational study on the process of collaborative deliberation in arranging long-term care: The perception of clients and professionals

Catharina M van Leersum*, Ben van Steenkiste, Judith RLM Wolf, Trudy van der Weijden, Albine Moser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Clients are invited to play a role in decisions about their care. Collaborative deliberation comprises constructive engagement, recognition of alternative actions, comparative learning, construction and elicitation of preferences and preference integration. Collaborative deliberation between clients and professionals is a process that requires an interest in each other, sharing of views on alternatives and preferences and integrating into decisions. The aim is to gain insight into collaborative deliberation in consultations and the clients’ perception of arranging long-term care.
A descriptive qualitative study to explore collaborative deliberation in consultations between clients and professionals. Six organisations providing long-term care were included. Data collection of nine clients involved observations of consultation with field notes and audio-records, interviews with clients and professionals shortly and 3–6 months after the consultation and questionnaires to collect background information. The data were analysed by deductive content analysis.
Constructive engagement was visible in all consultations. Clients and professionals showed respect, empathy and curiosity towards each other. In most consultations, two or more alternative actions are recognised and discussed. Comparative learning appears to be two sided, the client and the professional learn from each other's knowledge and experiences. Construction and elicitation of preference, and preference integration, seems to be present, but difficult to recognise in all consultations.
Although all propositions could be identified, there seems room for improvement in preference elicitation and integration of these preferences in the discussions on courses of action. Assistance seems needed with preference elicitation, both for the clients and for the professional.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Shared decision-making
  • collaborative deliberation
  • consultations
  • long-term care
  • patient preferences
  • professional–patient relationship


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