What is person-centred care?

A student midwife recently asked, ‘Do you have a good explanation of ‘person-centred care’?’

Yes, thanks to a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal.


“People-centered care moves away from traditional care models where care is determined by uniform procedures derived from needs associated with disease classifications and degrees of dependency and by organizational constraints (what has sometimes been termed as models of focused care in services).

The decisions that we make about our pregnancy and childbirth journeys can shape our experiences, health and lives, as well as those of our families. But those decisions can be complex. This book is a guide to the different perspectives and approaches that exist, and it offers tips, tools and ways of thinking which will help you make the decisions that are right for you.

To make effective this model implies having an integral vision of people and recognition of its value and singularity and which looks at the capacities, rather than the deficits, and supports the self-determination of individuals. Direct care professionals, in addition to protecting people and attending to their diverse needs, relate to the knowledge of their life histories looking for opportunities and supports so that each person can develop their capacities, have control over their daily lives and consequently feel better.

Person Centered Care is a model that has an approach with a high capacity to improve the quality of services and guide good professional practice.”

– Moises A. Santos-Peña

Santos-Peña MA (2017). Implementing person centred approaches. BMJ; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4126
photo credit: nina vieira. Esperando Aisha Badu via photopin (license)

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