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Researching nursing practice: does person-centredness matter?1


  • Brendan McCormack DPhil (Oxon ) BSc (Hons) Nursing PGCEA RGN RMN

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Nursing Research/Director of Nursing Research and Development, University of Ulster/Royal Hospitals, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
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  • 1

    A version of this paper was first delivered as an invited keynote address to the Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland Research and Quality Group (NIRAQ) Conference, November 2002.

Brendan McCormack, Nursing Development Centre, 3rd Floor, Bostock House, Royal Hospitals Trust, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BA, UK. Tel.: 028 9034 6394; fax: 028 9026 3433;


Person-centredness is common speak in nursing and health care literature. Increasingly there is an expectation that practitioners adopt person-centred principles in their practice and organizations are expected to respect the values of the service user. However, in the research methodology literature, there is little explicit attention paid to the concept of person-centredness in research practice. Instead, there continues to be a reliance on traditional ‘ethical principles’ to guide effectiveness in research work. This paper argues that the principles of person-centredness that are espoused in nursing practice should also underpin nursing and health care research. A framework for person-centred research is proposed and issues concerning its implementation in practice are discussed.