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Keywords:

  • acute care;
  • experience of care;
  • interviews;
  • nurse;
  • patient-centred care;
  • patients;
  • phenomenology

Abstract

Aims.  To report a study of patients’ views of patient-centred care. The study aimed to explore patients’ understanding and conceptualization of patient-centred care and link it to existing literature on the topic.

Background.  Patient-centred care currently lacks a widely accepted definition, with much of the literature based on definitions formulated by health professionals and researchers.

Design.  Qualitative research study grounded in phenomenology.

Methods.  Interpersonal interviews were conducted with ten participants who were patients in a surgical ward in a large metropolitan hospital in South Australia in 2010.

Results/findings.  Participants were unfamiliar with the concept of patient-centred care, but despite this, were able to describe what the term meant to them and what they wanted from their care. Patients equated the type and quality of care they received with the staff that provided it and themes of connectedness, involvement and attentiveness were prevalent in their descriptions of what they wanted from their care.

Conclusion.  Ensuring that patients have a voice in the definition and conceptualization of patient-centred care is essential and further and regular consultation with patients about their needs and priorities will ensure an integrated approach to patient-centred care.