While caring for people with a moderate or severe mental disability and challenging behavior situations regularly come to a standstill. Although there are many specific methodologies for dealing with these, and healthcare professionals often work with a great deal of perseverance, they don’t always succeed in providing satisfactory support to the people they’re dealing with. Perhaps it’s time to try something completely different, and learn to use the knowledge and skills of outsiders?
In order to investigate this question, six care-providing bodies have entered into a three-year partnership with the Centre for Consultation and Expertise and the VUmc Department of Medical Humanities in the form of the WAVE project. At each of these organizations, outsider researchers spend half a day a week for two years on a case involving an individual with challenging behavior. They commit themselves to long-term observation and participation.
The big question is what this long-term cooperation and exchange between insiders and outsiders will yield. Will the outsiders’ knowledge and skills benefit the care provided, and the thirteen protagonists’ quality of life? And how can the lessons of WAVE be used in other care settings?