Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Person-Centred Care: An Overview of Reviews

Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Person-Centred Care: An Overview of Reviews

Article excerpt

Dissatisfaction among patients regarding their experience of care has become the charge for a renewal of the design and delivery of care and service within the health system. One such avenue is creating the delivery of personalized health care, whereby health and allied care providers work collaboratively with the person whom is receiving care. Existing evidence suggests that enhancing the delivery of care to align with a person-centred approach can improve coordination and access to health care and services (Canadian Medical Association, 2010; Canadian Medical Association & Canadian Nurses Association, 2011; Government of Ontario, 2014). Consequently, many organizations are working to identify best practices associated with person-centred care, therefore creating the need for a review of the literature on the concept. The identification and adoption of evidence-based practices that promote person-centred care is essential for improving the experience of care and the effectiveness and quality of healthcare delivery.

In alignment with the values of health quality and efficiency, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), developed a clinical Best Practice Guideline (BPG) for nurses and other health-care providers to promote the delivery of person-centred care. An overview of reviews guided by five separate research questions was conducted to inform the guideline. The questions pertained to concept definition, clinical practice, education and organizational/system level supports. The purpose of this paper is to report on the overview of the literature which informed the development of the aforementioned guideline for three of the five most salient questions, in reference to concept definition, clinical practice and organizational/system level supports.


In June 2014, the RNAO's International Affairs and Best Practice Guideline Centre (IABPG) convened an expert panel to revise the original BPG on this topic area. The expert panel consisted of professionals in clinical, administrative and academic roles, as well as patients. The expert panel's mandate was to provide their expertise garnered through a range of respective roles and experiences to inform the guideline development process and recommendations.


The design of this study was an overview of reviews (Higgins & Green, 2011). The overview was selected as the design for two reasons. First, the volume of literature obtained from the initial scope of the literature on this topic determined that limiting the inclusion criteria to reviews was a feasible option. Second, the overview provided a way to compare and contrast conclusions from multiple reviews to inform the recommendations of the clinical practice guideline (Higgins & Green, 2011; Squires, Sullivan, Eccles, Worswick, & Grimshaw, 2014).

Search strategy

A three-step process was used to inform the search strategy. First, the RNAO IABPG guideline development team (a nurse program manager and two nursing research associates [NRA]) reviewed the clinical questions and search terms that informed the literature review associated with the original BPG. Second, the guideline development team and a health sciences librarian conducted a scan of the literature to identify new terms and attributes associated with the concept person-centred care. Finally, research questions and search terms were developed through a consensus process by the guideline development team. The following research questions guided the search:

(1) What is person-centred care?

(2) What nursing or health-care provider behaviours demonstrate a person-centred approach during the delivery of care to a person?

(3) What are the evidence-based models of care delivery, which demonstrate effective outcomes that support person-centred care?

(4) What components of person-centred care should be taught in basic curricula or ongoing professional education programmes?

(5) What organizational or system structures support successful implementation of personcentred care? …

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