Person- and family-centered care is a collaborative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of clinical services. It is grounded in the mutually beneficial partnership among individuals served, families, and providers. Each party is equally important in the relationship, and each party respects the knowledge, skills, and experiences that others have to share (Baas, 2012; Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care).
This approach to care is used across professionals (e.g., physicians, counselors, educators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists). Although it may be referred to by different names (e.g., patient- and family-centered care), the emphasis is the same—working with the individual and family.
Family refers to two or more people who are related biologically, legally, or emotionally. A family consists of individuals who are most meaningful and supportive to the person served. Examples include blood relatives, adoptive parents, legal guardians, extended family, same-sex or opposite-sex partners, and friends.
The person—provided that he or she is developmentally mature and competent to do so—defines “family” and determines the degree of family involvement in his or her care. In the pediatric population, “family” is defined by the child’s parents or guardians.
Bass (2012); Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Core concepts of person- and family-centered care include the following:
Based on core concepts described by Johnson et al. (2008).
The implementation of person- and family-centered care may require some initial time investment—for example, to modify treatment approaches, build relationships, and teach individuals and families the strategies they will need to actively participate in the service delivery process (Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care).
This initial time investment will result in many benefits, including
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2012). Patient- and family-centered care and the pediatrician’s role. Pediatrics, 129, 394–404. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/2/394
Baas, L. S. (2012). Patient- and family-centered care. Heart & Lung, 41, 534–535. Retrieved from http://www.heartandlung.org/article/S0147-9563(12)00309-3/fulltext
Johnson, B., Abraham, M., Conway, J., Simmons, L., Edgman-Levitan, S., Sodomka, P., . . . Ford, D. (2008). Partnering with patients and families to design a patient-and family-centered health care system: Recommendations and promising practices. Bethesda MD: Institute for Family-Centered Care and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved from http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Publications/PartneringwithPatientsandFamiliesRecommendationsPromisingPractices.aspx