The General Framework and Methods of the Care Keys Research

  • Marja Vaarama
  • Richard Pieper
  • Andrew Sixsmith
Initially, there were four major research objectives in the Care Keys research:
  1. 1.

    What are the determinants of quality of life (QoL) of care-dependent old people; and what is the role of care in the production of it?

  2. 2.

    What are the determinants of quality of care from the perspectives of the clients and professional carers, and how are they inter-related?

  3. 3.

    How should care be managed to provide positive care outcomes?

  4. 4.

    Development of a Toolkit, comprising models and instrumentation for evaluating care outcomes within applied research and care management practice.

Care Keys has focused on older people who require help to cope with many aspects of daily life and are often dependent on care provided to them, either at home or in institutional settings, such as nursing homes. For many of these people, the possibilities, choices and opportunities in their everyday lives are more limited because of increasing frailty and loss of independence, with an inevitable impact on their QoL. The aim of the research was to find out how long-term care (LTC) provided to people in their homes or institutional settings impacts on their QoL and how LTC could be improved to support and enhance the well-being of the clients. A particular emphasis was on the “voice” of the clients. An initial literature review revealed that this type of research approach was rare, and the availability of appropriate models and instruments appropriate for use within Care Keys was very limited. Therefore, two further research tasks were defined:
  1. 1.

    To develop a theoretical model of care-related quality of life (crQoL) that also includes concepts of quality of care and management of quality of care.

  2. 2.

    To select, develop and validate instrumentation for research on crQoL.


Hence, the Care Keys project involved both theoretical and empirical research. This chapter outlines the general theoretical framework of the Care Keys research, and in Part II, the results of our theoretical research are discussed.


Care Outcome Target Efficiency Client Outcome Good Quality Care WHOQOL Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja Vaarama
    • 1
  • Richard Pieper
    • 2
  • Andrew Sixsmith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkUniversity of LaplandFinland
  2. 2.Fak. Sozial-u. Wirtschaftswiss. Urbanistik und SozialplanungUniversity of BambergGermany
  3. 3.Department of GerontologySimon Fraser University at Harbour CentreVancouverCanada

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