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J Adv Nurs. 2006 Dec;56(5):472-9.

Development of a framework for person-centred nursing.

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Professor of Nursing Research/Director of Nursing Research and Practice Development, University of Ulster and Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


This paper presents the development and content of a person-centred nursing framework.


Person-centred is a widely used concept in nursing and health care generally, and a range of literature articulates key components of person-centred nursing. This evidence base highlights the links between this approach and previous work on therapeutic caring.


The framework was developed through an iterative process and involved a series of systematic steps to combine two existing conceptual frameworks derived from empirical studies. The process included the mapping of original conceptual frameworks against the person-centred nursing and caring literature, critical dialogue to develop a combined framework, and focus groups with practitioners and co-researchers in a larger person-centred nursing development and research project to test its face validity.


The person-centred nursing framework comprises four constructs -prerequisites, which focus on the attributes of the nurse; the care environment, which focuses on the context in which care is delivered; person-centred processes, which focus on delivering care through a range of activities; and expected outcomes, which are the results of effective person-centred nursing. The relationship between the constructs suggests that, to deliver person-centred outcomes, account must be taken of the prerequisites and the care environment that are necessary for providing effective care through the care processes.


The framework described here has been tested in a development and research project in an acute hospital setting. Whilst there is an increasing empirical base for person-centred nursing, as yet little research has been undertaken to determine its outcomes for patients and nurses. The framework developed can be described as a mid-range theory. Further testing of the framework through empirical research is required to establish its utility for nursing practice and research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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