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Online J Issues Nurs. 2011 May 31;16(2):1.

An exploration of person-centredness in practice.

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University of Ulster and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland).


Person-centredness' is a term that is becoming increasingly familiar within health and social care at a global level; it is being used to describe a standard of care that ensures the patient/client is at the centre of care delivery. In this article we explore the relevance of person-centredness in the context of nursing, taking account of the ongoing critical debate and dialogue regarding developments in this field. Person-centredness is recognised as a multidimensional concept. The complexity of the concept contributes to the challenge of articulating its shared meaning and describing how it can be applied in practice. The aim of this paper is to explore some of the issues pertaining to language and conceptual clarity, with a view to making connections and increasing our shared understanding of person-centred care in a way that can impact nursing practice. We begin by describing the development of the concept of person-centredness, after which we discuss the synergies with patient-centredness and other related terms, and consider how nurses can operationalise person-centredness in their practice.

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