The state of play in person-centred care

Regions covered:

Australia, Europe, Africa, USA

Completed date:
Policy theme:
Person-centred care, integrated care, patient-centred care
Disease area:
Key partners and stakeholders:

The Health Foundation
The European Society of Person-Centred Health Care (ESPCH)

Signature output:
Global synthesis report

About this project

Person-centred care is perhaps one of the most influential global discussions in modern healthcare. It is very much alive as an area of practice, theory and research, and many organisations include it in their mission statements.

Few people would argue against person-centred care. Most people agree our health systems are too diseased-focused, fragmented and paternalistic, and if they are to be sustainable, they must promote health and wellbeing, integrated care, and true partnerships with patients throughout.

But what does person-centred care really stand for, and why do we need it today? There is promising evidence that many aspects of person-centred care are improving people’s lives and making healthcare delivery more effective.

There are many questions about person-centred care that need answers. Terminology can be confusing, with a multiplicity of terms used to denote person-centred care. Good practice models have often been developed within the confines of their particular areas (e.g. by setting, disease, country and sector). There is also significant ongoing debate as to many fundamental principles, such as conceptual definitions, or whether person-centred care can, or should, be measured.

What we did

HPP led an international environment scan to build an overarching picture of the ‘state of play’ in person-centred care, to identify some of the key research and contributions to the evolving field of person-centred care and to gain a better understanding of where this global discussion is going.

The work drew on expert interviews with  40 leading commentators around the world, and spanned literature and qualitivative input from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden, among many other countries.

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