Care ethics as research methodology centralizes the concept of care as starting point for research. Care is broadly defined as ‘those activities we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it together as well as possible’. From this, all care ethical research concentrates on the question; what is good care within given situations?

This exploration is always collaborative and interdisciplinary while it pays explicit attention to moral dynamics concerning relationality, responsibility, power position, diversity and silent voices. Including both a normative and descriptive approach, it combines theoretical insights with empirical research in an on-going dialogue. The empirical data-collection generally follows a qualitative design existing in diverse methods such as participative action research, responsive evaluation, phenomenology, discourse analysis and narrative analysis.

The care ethics research group focuses on various topics that correspond to the moral urgency experienced in the healthcare practices. An overall aim is to develop insights and perspectives in how people in practice can improve the quality of care and develop and finetune their moral competencies.
In general, topics centralizes within the following themes:

  • Ethics of responsible use of restrictive measures in nursing home care
  • Sharing care responsibilities between formal and informal caregivers
  • Value and meaning of good care for (individual) residents in nursing homes

How our research benefits to society

Healthcare practices are faced with challenges that are ethical in nature. Values and norms are steering points, yet may conflict, causing moral dilemmas and conflict. Moreover, shortage of staff and rising costs are realities that raise (new) moral questions in which what is considered as good care gets challenged. To provide and continue good care for our older population, society needs to consider not only their moral orientations but also how to create morally healthy practices that may prevent moral hiccups, stress and dilemmas.


Elleke Landeweer Senior researcher

Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen
Department of Primary and Long-term Care
P.O. Box 196
9700 AD Groningen

Visiting address
Department of Primary and Long-term Care
Oostersingel | entrance 47 | building 50 | 2nd floor
The Netherlands