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Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2012 Jun;21(2):139-44. doi: 10.1017/S2045796012000078.

Person-centred mental health care: the challenge of implementation.


Within mental health care, 'person-centredness' has been generally interpreted to convey a holistic approach with an attitude of respect for the individual and his/her unique experience and needs. Although it has been possible to demonstrate that professionals can acquire such skills through training, the impact on clinical outcomes has been more difficult to demonstrate in randomized controlled trials. Indeed what is becoming increasingly apparent in the literature is the need to acknowledge and address the degree of complexity that exists within the health care system that militates against achieving satisfactory implementation and outcomes from person-centred mental health care. In addressing this, we must develop and work with more sophisticated and three-dimensional models of 'patient-centredness' that engage with not only what happens in the consulting room (the relationship between individual service users and healthcare professionals), but also addresses the problems involved in achieving person-centredness through modifying the way that services and organizations work, and finally by engaging families and communities in the delivery of health care. A truly meaningful concept of 'people-centredness' encompasses how the views of the population are taken into consideration not only in healthcare but also in health and social care policy, and wider society too.

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