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What are the components of person-centred care?

Person-centred care is an approach where healthcare providers try to make patients able to make decisions to their health based on individual needs.
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To continue our learning on what person-centred is, let us further review what The Health Foundation, an organisation from the United Kingdom, has to say on the matter:

In person-centred care, health and social care professionals work collaboratively with people who use services. Person-centred care supports people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively manage and make informed decisions about their own health and health care. It is coordinated and tailored to the needs of the individual. And, crucially, it ensures that people are always treated with dignity, compassion and respect.

(Person-centred care made simple, What everyone should know about person-centred care. The Health Foundation. (2016))

In other words, person-centred care is:

  • A team effort by healthcare professionals on behalf of the patients they work with;
  • Its intention is to help patients take control of their health by improving their abilities and learning skills;
  • It is specifically aimed at the patient’s individual requirements;
  • While always making the patient feel respected and understood.

Components of personalised care

In a Review of Reviews by Eklund et al. (2019), several common components of person-centred care were found in the literature, these are:

  • Empathy: being able to understand the way the patients feels;
  • Respect: being respectful of the patient’s beliefs and values;
  • Engagement: taking the time to actively interact with the patient;
  • Relationship: engaging in a Carer-Patient relationship based in mutual trust and partnership;
  • Communication: a two-way exercise of information-sharing;
  • Shared decision making: ensuring empowerment, autonomy and involvement in treatment;
  • Holistic focus: recognising the patient as a whole, a biological, a social and a psychological being.
  • Individualised focus: taking from the holistic focus, and guiding care by the patient’s aspects of life and preferences.
  • Coordinated care: a well-guided interprofessional care

Working in a person centred way with patients incorporates health literacy practices most obviously seen in the Health Foundation’s definition with reference to development of knowledge and skills, and understanding and in Eklund et al., listing of the components of person centred care including communication and shared decision making. These links with working with people with limited health literacy will be explored further with reference to the results of the review by Jager et al (2019).

To find out more on the topic we invite you to read the following quick guide: Person-centred care made simple, What everyone should know about person-centred care by The Health Foundation (2016).


Eklund, J. H., Holmström, I. K., Kumlin, T., Kaminsky, E., Skoglund, K., Höglander, J., … & Meranius, M. S. (2019). “Same same or different?” A review of reviews of person-centered and patient-centered care. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(1), 3-11.

Health Foundation. (2014). Person-centred care made simple: what everyone should know about person-centred care. Health Foundation.

© IMPACCT consortium
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Working with Patients with Limited Health Literacy

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