International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleConcepts of person-centred care: a framework analysis of five studies in daily care practice
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sMargreet van der Cingel, Lobke Brandsma, Mirjam van Dam, Marcella van Dorst, Claudia Verkaart and Cilleke van der Velde
ReferenceVolume 6, Issue 2, Article 6
Date of PublicationNovember 2016
Keywordsconcept clarification, empirical studies, framework analysis, person-centred care, professional nurse behaviour, value-based care

Background: Person-centred care is used as a term to indicate a ‘made to measure’ approach in care. But what does this look like in daily practice? The person-centred nursing framework developed by McCormack and McCance (2010) offers specific concepts but these are still described in rather general terms. Empirical studies, therefore, could help to clarify them and make person-centredness more tangible for nurses.
Aims: This paper describes how a framework analysis aimed to clarify the concepts described in the model of McCormack and McCance in order to guide professionals using them in practice.
Methods: Five separate empirical studies focusing on older adults in the Netherlands were used in the framework analysis. The research question was: ‘How are concepts of person-centred care made tangible where empirical data are used to describe them?’ Analysis was done in five steps, leading to a comparison between the description of the concepts and the empirical significance found in the studies.
Findings: Suitable illustrations were found for the majority of concepts. The results show that an empirically derived specification emerges from the data. In the concept of ‘caring relationship’ for example, it is shown that the personal character of each relationship is expressed by what the nurse and the older person know about each other. Other findings show the importance of values being present in care practices.
Conclusions: The framework analysis shows that concepts can be clarified when empirical studies are used to make person-centred care tangible so nurses can understand and apply it in practice.
Implications for practice:

  • The concepts of the person-centred nursing framework are recognised when:
  • Nurses know unique characteristics of the person they care for and what is important to them, and act accordingly
  • Nurses use values such as trust, involvement and humour in their care practice
  • Acknowledgement of emotions and compassion create mutuality in the caring relationship


This article by Margreet van der Cingel, Lobke Brandsma, Mirjam van Dam, Marcella van Dorst, Claudia Verkaart and Cilleke van der Velde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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