Title of ArticleExploring person-centred practice within acute hospital settings
Type of ArticleSpecial Issue Paper
Author/sTanya McCance and Val Wilson
ReferenceVolume 5, Special Issue on Person-centredness, Article 9
Date of PublicationSeptember 2015
KeywordsDeveloping practice, key performance indicators, paediatrics, patient experience, person-centredness, quality care

Background: Person-centred cultures have the capacity to make a significant difference in the care experiences of patients and staff. Contextual factors pose the greatest challenge to person-centredness and to the development of cultures that can sustain person-centred care, especially in the acute hospital setting.

Aim of the study: To assess person-centred practice in acute hospital settings.
Method: A cross-sectional survey using the person-centred practice inventory was used to measure current levels of person-centred practice within the acute care environment. A purposive sample of 2,825 registered nurses employed in acute hospital settings drawn from across four organisations was identified to participate in the study. Full ethical approval was obtained.

Findings: A response rate of 24.9% (n=703) was achieved. There was a good spread of responses across demographic details. All 17 constructs of the inventory were scored positively. The lowest scored construct was ‘supportive organisational systems’ and the highest was ‘being committed to the job’. Staff experience and banding had a significant impact on the provision of person-centred practice, with higher banding and experience being associated with higher levels of person-centredness.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that a high level of person-centred care is currently provided in acute hospital settings. They also indicate areas for potential improvement, particularly in the constructs of: clarity of beliefs and values; supportive organisation systems; and potential for innovation and risk-taking. The significance of staff banding and time in role indicate that years of experience is important in terms of expertise in person-centred practice.

Implications for practice:

  • Demographic details have a significant impact on the provision of person-centred practice in acute hospitals, indicating variability in practice that must be taken into consideration when designing practice development initiatives
  • The person-centred practice inventory helps to identify areas for potential practice development work, and to design targeted interventions and measure the impact of interventions
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