Title of ArticleWhich is it, person-centred culture, practice or care? It matters
Type of ArticleDiscussion Article
Author/sDenise Edgar, Valerie Wilson and Tracey Moroney
ReferenceVolume 10, Issue 1, Article 8
Date of PublicationMay 2020
Keywordsperson-centred care, person-centred culture, person-centred practice, Person-centred Practice Framework, person-centredness, Personhood

Background: Governments, health organisations and regulatory bodies across the world are making their expectations explicit: healthcare professionals and organisations should be providing person-centred care. Yet, it is still not common practice.

Aims and objectives: This discussion article aims to explore some of the historical and current perspectives on the interrelated concepts of personhood and person-centred care, and to explain how the persistence of differing perspectives affects the way person-centred care is understood, implemented and evaluated. The article then aims to explain the need for person-centred cultures and practices, and to find a way to progress towards a person-centred agenda.

Methods: To develop an understanding of the evolution of and current approach to these concepts, a literature search was undertaken. This included a broad search of the grey literature and the Medline and CINAHL databases, as well as review of articles published in the International Practice Development Journal, and a number of books and literature recommendations.

Discussion: Multiple perspectives were found in relation to personhood and person-centred care. How personhood is viewed by healthcare staff and organisations has a direct impact on how person-centred care is delivered. Person-centred practice is a more inclusive concept as it advocates that staff should also experience person-centredness. However, to achieve sustainable person-centred practice, efforts may need to focus on investment in developing person-centred cultures at system and team levels. A person-centred framework can guide this change.

Conclusion: Person-centred care is espoused within health policies, visions and mission statements. However, the focus should be on person-centred cultures and on how these can be developed and embedded. The Person-centred Practice Framework can aid understanding, implementation and evaluation of person-centred practice for all.

Implications for practice:

  • A consensus on the meaning of ‘person-centredness’ in practice would be beneficial, as the lack of one impacts on who is accorded person-centredness, what it means and looks like in practice, and how to measure its impact
  • The Person-centred Practice Framework provides clarity and guidance to health professionals, teams and organisations on how to operationalise and evaluate person-centredness for all
  • It would be advantageous for policies, practices and care standards at a systems level to reflect the shift in thinking from person-centred care to enabling person-centred practices and cultures

This article by Denise Edgar, Valerie Wilson and Tracey Moroney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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