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Chapar - Challenges of participation

Research group manager

Anita Strøm

Responsible units(s)

Faculty of Health Studies


The Chapar interdisciplinary research group possesses particular knowledge of user participation in health and social work practices and in service development. We are researching practices where users do not always meet ideals of being autonomous, informed and well-articulated citizens who make sensible choices. Public documents often contain ambitious goals in terms of user participation. The description of user participation seems to be largely based on an assumption of users who appear to be autonomous, informed and well-articulated citizens who make sensible choices. Many health and welfare service users do not always meet these ideals. User participation is further challenged by legal guidance and professional practices. Examples of such user groups may be people with learning disabilities, people with acquired cognitive impairment, older people with dementia, people with severe alcohol and psychiatric disorders, children and adolescents with severe behavioural difficulties, children, adolescents and parents in contact with the child welfare service and so on. Facilitating user participation for these user groups represents common challenges across sectors and professions because it concerns the very essence of the professional practice. This applies to questions about how formalized knowledge can be combined with the exercise of discretion, but also how professional ethical requirements for a respectful relationship with users and empowerment are challenged by users' self-determination. Individual and collective user participation among users with difficult conditions for autonomy therefore seems to be a well-suited empirical approach to exploring and developing constructive interactions between practice fields, knowledge development and professional education. The main objective of the research is to study conditions for user participation among people who are defined as users by virtue of traits that are considered disqualifying for full self-determination, as well as the development of new and suitable models that can promote increased participation. Issues related to user participation are highlighted based on the different types of knowledge that practice fields, users and educational institutions represent. The research group is interdisciplinary and consists of members from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Social Sciences.


Barn og foreldres medvirkning i barnevernet - samspill og interessemotsetninger (2008)
Slettebø, Tor
Tidsskriftet Norges Barnevern
Collective participation in child protection services: partnership or tokenism? (2011)
Seim, Sissel;Slettebø, Tor
European Journal of Social Work
Parity: (im) possible? Interplay of knowledge forms in patient education (2011)
Strøm, Anita;Kvernbekk, Tone;Fagermoen, May Solveig
Nursing Inquiry
Brukermedvirkning som medtjenesteytelse - brukerrepresentanter som samarbeidspartnere (2011)
Strøm, Anita;Fagermoen, May Solveig
The coping model: what is it and what might be its implications for social work practice? (= Mestringsmodellen: hva er modellen og hvordan kan den anvendes i praktisk sosialt arbeid?) (2013)
Eriksen, Rita Elisabeth
European Journal of Social Work
Forskning i partnerskap (2011)
Brodtkorb, Elisabeth;Slettebø, Tor
Partnership with parents of children in care: a study of collective user participation in child protection services (2013)
Slettebø, Tor
British Journal of Social Work
Brukernes erfaringer og syn på kollektiv brukermedvirkning (2012)
Slettebø, Tor;Brodtkorb, Elisabeth;Dalen, Hilde
Fontene forskning
Participation and coping: A mutual dependence? (2014)
Eriksen, Rita Elisabeth
Social Work & Social Sciences Review
Service users facing household challenges : their experiences with task-centred coping approach (2014)
Eriksen, Rita Elisabeth
Journal of Comparative Social Work
Everyday life of persons with intellectual disability living in residential settings: a systematic review of qualitative studies (2017)
Gjermestad, Anita;Luteberget, Laila;Midjo, Turid;Witsø, Aud Elisabeth
Disability & Society
Brukermedvirkning i bo-oppfølging. Et spenningsfelt mellom å yte omsorg og å bidra til systematiske endringsprosesser (2017)
Eriksen, Rita Elisabeth
Fontene forskning
Partnerships with children in child welfare: The importance of trust and pedagogical support (2018)
Husby, Inger Sofie Dahlø;Slettebø, Tor;Juul, Randi
Child & Family Social Work
Factors affecting user participation for elderly people with dementia living at home. A critical interpretive synthesis of the literature (2018)
Haugen, Ingebjørg;Slettebø, Tor;Ytrehus, Siri
European Journal of Social Work
Medborgerskap og alvorlig utviklingshemming (2018)
Gjermestad, Anita;Fjetland, Kirsten Jæger
Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning
Doctor in an unfamiliar country - a challenge to professional identity? : interactional experiences of newly employed international medical doctors and Norwegian health personnel (2018)
Skjeggestad, Erik
Universitetet i Oslo
User participation among people with dementia living at home (2018)
Haugen, Ingebjørg;Ytrehus, Siri;Slettebø, Tor
Nordic Social Work Research
Next of kin’s protracted challenges with access to relevant information and involvement opportunities (2019)
Strøm, Anita;Dreyer, Anne
Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Sosial innovasjon og tjenesteutvikling i Barnevernet (2018)
Slettebø, Tor;Van der Meij, Ranveig
Involving relatives in consultations for patients with long-term illnesses: Nurses and physicians’ experiences (2019)
Dreyer, Anne;Strøm, Anita
Nursing Ethics

Affiliated projects/research groups

Challenges of participation (CHAPAR)