Views And Reviews

“Collaborative care” is preferable to “patient centred care”

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2926 (Published 26 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2926
  1. JK Aronson,
  2. consultant physician and clinical pharmacologist
  1. Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK
  1. jeffrey.aronson{at}phc.ox.ac.uk

Healthcare isn’t centralised but a complex network, with interdependent components

Some ideas seem so obviously right that any harmful or counterproductive consequences are unthinkable. When such consequences do occur they are unanticipated, as the US sociologist RK Merton called them; unintended, as we now say.1 One such idea is patient centred care.2

The US Institute of Medicine defines patient centred care as “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”3 The UK Royal College of General Practitioners defines it as “care that is holistic, empowering and that tailors support according to the individual’s priorities and needs.”4

Patients’ welfare (needs, values, priorities, and preferences) should be a focus of attention. But it’s wrong to …

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