Reframing the gap: methodological reflections on linking theory and practice using an example from the field of person-centred care

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOral presentation at a conference


The relationship between theory and practice in nursing is often characterised as tense and has been metaphorically described as a gap that needs to be bridged or levelled. Both areas, theory, and practice, are based on different logics of action and sources of knowledge. Using this tension constructively is a challenge that must be faced on both sides. Person-centred care exemplifies this issue, where theoretical frameworks often encounter obstacles in practical application. Using an example of theory development from the field of person-centredness in long-term care, we aim to demonstrate how such a balancing act between theory and practice can be achieved. In this case, mutual understanding between theory (researchers) and practice (practitioners) was facilitated through a collaborative, dialogical approach that served both theory development as well as practice development. The metaphorical gap was thus, in a sense, reframed as its opposite: it was not a separating but a connecting element between theory and practice; a collaborative and discursive space in which actors from both fields met as equals and existing tensions were channelled into constructive paths through dialogue. We will conclude by discussing lessons learned and perspectives for future inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024
EventGlobal Conference on Person-Centred Care: Knowledge(s) and Innovations for Health in Changing Societies - Göteborg, Sweden
Duration: 13 May 202416 May 2024


ConferenceGlobal Conference on Person-Centred Care
Abbreviated titleGCPCC
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