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Nurs Forum. 2013 Apr-Jun;48(2):89-98. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12019.

A concept analysis of patient-centered care.

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  • 1Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing Program, Medford, MA.



Patient-centered care (PCC) has moved to the forefront of health care over the last decade as a healthcare improvement recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Yet the term lacks clear definition among healthcare professionals.


The purpose of this article is to describe a concept analysis using Walker and Avant's method as an organizing framework. In this review, nursing and interprofessional literature, including psychology, medicine, social science, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, are examined. Using research articles to delineate variables, multiple terms inherent to PCC are explored.


Findings suggest that PCC is integral to the provision of quality care, promoting positive outcomes for patients, organizations, and healthcare professionals. An operational definition of PCC, including attributes, antecedents, and consequences, is developed, and this definition correlates with Jean Watson's caring theory in nursing practice today. Model and contrary cases illustrate the concept.


Defining measurable variables can link associated nursing care with improved patient outcomes. The need for further inquiry is discussed.

© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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