Research on care for the disabled receives award

Researcher Person-centred Care, Marjolein Herps of Vilans has won the prestigious Karolinska Medical Management Centre/ EHMA Research Award in Budapest on 22 June 2018. ‘I am extremely proud and honored.’ said Herps.

Prize means recognition

The Karolinska Institute chose the thesis ‘Real lives on paper plans. Individual support planning for people with intellectual disabilities’ by Marjolein Herps as the best research. Herps: ‘This award is a nice recognition for the importance of continuing the research into, and with this target group. It is remarkable that the prize in 2018 went to research on care for the disabled. The Institute is also responsible for nominations for the Nobel Prize for medical science. Research in curative care is therefore often rewarded with prizes. It is very positive that attention is now also being paid to the disability care sector as a research field.’

Five studies

In her thesis, Herps critically examines policy, practice and content of working with individual support plans for people with intellectual disabilities. In five studies she looked at various aspects of working with support plans such as: what is in it; what clients of the target group think about their care plan and how effective are care plans?

Person-centred view

‘The results show that professional person-centred working is at odds with the pressure from systems to standardise’, says Herps. ‘The person-centred view, among other things, appealed to the committee in the research. In the cure, one still often looks very specialized at a specific health problem that one wants to solve exclusively. In the care for the disabled you cannot only look at “what goes wrong”. It is always about the whole person and how his life has the best possible quality.’

Herps sees the prize as encouragement to continue with research in long-term care. ‘It certainly enables me to continue with a study to retrieve best practices from the care. But on October 16, 2018 we will organise another ‘Day of the Support Plan’, so that we can also take steps forward on this theme again. The idea is to make it a day full of inspiration and exchange of experiences, practical tools and methodologies.’

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