Person-specific evidence has the ability to mobilize relational capacity: A four-step grounded theory developed in people with long-term health conditions

Vibeke Zoffmann*, Rikke Jørgensen, Marit Graue, Sigrid Normann Biener, Anna Lena Brorsson, Cecilie Holm Christiansen, Mette Due-Christensen, Helle Enggaard, Jeanette Finderup, Josephine Haas, Gitte Reventlov Husted, Maja Tornøe Johansen, Katja Lisa Kanne, Beate Christin Hope Kolltveit, Katrine Wegmann Krogslund, Silje S. Lie, Anna Olinder Lindholm, Emilie H.S. Marqvorsen, Anne Sophie Mathiesen, Mette Linnet OlesenBodil Rasmussen, Mette Juel Rothmann, Susan Munch Simonsen, Sara Huld Sveinsdóttir Tackie, Lise Bjerrum Thisted, Trang Minh Tran, Janne Weis, Marit Kirkevold

*Corresponding author for this work


Person-specific evidence was developed as a grounded theory by analyzing 20 selected case descriptions from interventions using the guided self-determination method with people with various long-term health conditions. It explains the mechanisms of mobilizing relational capacity by including person-specific evidence in shared decision-making. Person-specific self-insight was the first step, achieved as individuals completed reflection sheets enabling them to clarify their personal values and identify actions or omissions related to self-management challenges. This step paved the way for sharing these insights and challenges in a relationship with a supportive health professional, who could then rely on person-specific evidence instead of assumptions or a narrow disease perspective for shared decision-making. Trust in the evidence encouraged the supportive health professional to transfer it to the interdisciplinary team. Person-specific evidence then enhanced the ability of team members to apply general evidence in a meaningful way. The increased openness achieved by individuals through these steps enabled them to eventually share their new self-insights in daily life with other people, decreasing loneliness they experienced in self-management. Relational capacity, the core of the theory, is mobilized in both people with long-term health conditions and healthcare professionals. Further research on person-specific evidence and relational capacity in healthcare is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12555
JournalNursing Inquiry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)e12555
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • empowerment
  • evidence
  • grounded theory
  • guided self-determination
  • life skills
  • long-term health condition
  • pragmatic research
  • shared decision-making
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Grounded Theory


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