Understanding care in the past to develop caring science of the future: A historical methodological approach
Nyborg, Vibeke N.
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Nyborg, V., Hvalvik, S. & McCormack, B. (2018) Understanding care in the past to develop caring science of the future: A historical methodological approach. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 32(4), pp. 1485-1491.
In this paper, we explore how the development of historical research methodologies during the last centuries can contribute to more diverse and interdisciplinary research in future caring science, especially towards a care focus that is more person‐centred. The adding of a historical approach by professional historians to the theory of person‐centredness and person‐centred care can develop knowledge that enables a more holistic understanding of the patient and the development of the patient perspective from the past until today. Thus, the aim was to show how developments within historical methodology can help us to understand elements of care in the past to further develop caring science in future. Historical research methodologies have advocated a “history from below” perspective, and this has enabled the evolution of systematic approaches to historical research that can be explored and critically analysed. Linked with this, the development of a more social and cultural oriented understanding of historical research has enabled historians to explore and add knowledge from a broader societal perspective. By focusing on the life of ordinary people and taking social and cultural aspects into account when trying to reconstruct the past, we can get a deeper understanding of health, care and medical development. However, an interdisciplinary research focus on person‐centredness and person‐centred care that includes professional historians can be challenging. In this paper, we argue that a historical perspective is necessary to meet the challenges we face in future delivery of health care to all people, in all parts of society in an ever more global world.