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Co-creation and integration when improving residential care for the elderly


Elisabeth Willumsen ,

University og Stavanger, NO
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Atle Ødegård,

Molde University College, NO
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Tore Sirnes

University og Stavanger, NO
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One of higher education’s obligations is to ensure that education and research are useful and accessible so they can have more impact and lead to innovation in society. In line with “the knowledge triangle” (EU) including education, research and innovation, the Norwegian research framework requires researchers to engage various partners (municipalities, health trusts, local stakeholders, service users/relatives etc.) at all phases of  research when developing new knowledge.

This was the starting point for the project “Social Innovation in Residential Elderly Care”, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The objects of the project were:

1- to identify innovation in daily practices in elderly care and to find characteristics related to how high-quality elderly care institutions are developed through everyday management and work

2- to make recommendations as to what is needed in the future—based on the perspectives of healthcare personnel, patients, relatives and researchers in various fields (nursing, psychology, social work, health, sociology and anthropology).

A sequential mixed method design was applied, including qualitative approaches such as fieldwork and interviews. Additionally, a questionnaire was developed to explore professionals’ perceptions of collaboration and innovation and the relation between these two phenomena.

The aim of this paper is to describe how practitioners/stakeholders were involved and worked together with researchers with the intention of mutually engaging and co-creating the research questions, forming the research design, collecting data, engaging in analysis and developing the results. We report on the evolving collaborative partnership, discussing the strengths and challenges associated with trying to fulfil the research goals and academic standards while simultaneously maintaining the integrated partnership in order to make the research democratic and relevant.  

How to Cite: Willumsen E, Ødegård A, Sirnes T. Co-creation and integration when improving residential care for the elderly. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):476. DOI:
Published on 08 Aug 2019.


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