Purpose – This study aims to explore the causes and consequences of media scandals involving nursing homes for older persons in Canada, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Design/methodology/approach – This study uses a descriptive case‐study methodology which provides an in‐depth, focused, qualitative analysis of one selected nursing home scandal in each jurisdiction. Scandals were selected on the basis of being substantive enough to potentially affect policy. An international comparative perspective was adopted to consider whether and how different social, political and economic contexts might shape scandals and their consequences. Findings – This study found that for‐profit residential care provision as well as international trends in the ownership and financing of nursing homes were factors in the emergence of all media scandals, as was investigative reporting and a lack of consensus around the role of the state in the delivery of residential care. All scandals resulted in government action but such action generally avoided addressing underlying structural conditions. Research limitations/implications – This study examines only the short‐term effects of five media scandals. Originality/value – While there has been longstanding recognition of the importance of scandals to the development of residential care policy, there have been few studies that have systematically examined the causes and consequences of such scandals. This paper contributes to a research agenda that more fully considers the media's role in the development of residential care policy, attending to both its promises and shortcomings.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2014
Keywords: Ageing; Policy; Ownership; Regulation; Mass media; Privatisation; Long‐term care; Nursing homes; Scandal