Stockholm university

Research project User participation and innovation to increase person centering in social services

Despite a strong emphasis on person-centered care in social service provision, scientific knowledge is limited regarding the actual impact and how these goals can be realized.

Person-centered care is challenging traditional cultures in social work that are problem focused and prioritize professional expertise, and instead promotes partnership, user influence and shared decision making.

Project description

However, structures and professional attitudes within social services affect the ability to implement person-centered care and the shift in power that a person-centered care requires. The overall aim of this project is to, through a controlled study, increase knowledge about how this power shift could be supported in social work towards adolescents, clients with psychiatric disabilities, and elderly. More specifically, the purpose is to adapt, and examine the effect of, a digital decision support, I-Share, in connection with care planning and decisions in social services.The primary outcome measure is user´s experience of participation and greater knowledge and influence in planning and decisions regarding care. The secondary hypothesis is that users experience increased personalization and improved quality of life in comparison with the control group, and that personal confidence in client decision-making capacity increases. Qualitative interviews will additionally explore clients and staff´s experience of participation, power and confidence in the users’ capacity. Increased scientific knowledge of the barriers that power structures create and tools that strategically support clients´ participation in social services and care, can contribute to an increase in the number of users who experience influence over and readiness to engage in real person centered care, a partnership that can lead to equality in services and quality of life.


Amanda Jones, Ola Knutsson & Ulla-Karin Schön (2021) Coordinated individual care planning and shared decision making: staff perspectives within the comorbidity field of practice, European Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2021.2016649

Knutsson, O & Schön, U-K (2020) Co-creating a Process of User Involvement and Shared Decision-Making in Coordinated Care Planning with Users and Caregivers in Social Services, International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being.

Project members

Project managers

Ulla-Karin Schön


Department of Social Work
Ulla-Karin Schön


Kristina Bromark

PhD student

Department of Social Work
Kristina Bromark. Foto: Sören Andersson.

Sara Erlandsson

Senior lecturer

Department of Social Work
Sara Erlandsson. Foto: Björn Dalin

Amanda Jones


Högskolan Dalarna

Ola Knutsson


Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
Picture of Ola Knutsson

Ylva Spånberger Weitz

Södertörns högskola
Ylva Spånberger Weitz. Foto: Rickard Kilhlström