Intended for healthcare professionals


Learning from Gothenburg model of person centred healthcare

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 01 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2738
  1. Nicky Britten, professor12,
  2. Inger Ekman, professor23,
  3. Öncel Naldemirci, senior lecturer4,
  4. Mikaela Javinger, patient representative5,
  5. Håkan Hedman, patient representative56,
  6. Axel Wolf, associate professor23
  1. 1Institute of Health Research, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK
  2. 2Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  3. 3Gothenburg University Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC), Gothenburg, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Social Work, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  5. 5Lund, Sweden
  6. 6Swedish Kidney Association, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to: A Wolf axel.wolf{at}

Axel Wolf and colleagues discuss an initiative in Sweden that is redesigning healthcare in partnership with patients and achieving better clinical outcomes

Providing person centred care is a growing imperative across healthcare. The core component of person centred care is the co-creation of care through partnership between patients, their families and carers, and health professionals.1 While much of the recent literature has focused on why we need to change to a more person centred approach with greater involvement of patients and the public in health and healthcare, little information is available on how to do it and whether it makes any difference. Over the past 10 years a model of person centred care has been studied and implemented in Sweden and has shown promising results. By providing practical insights from a successful initiative that has spread both nationally and internationally, we hope to offer lessons for readers elsewhere.

Gothenburg framework

The University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-Centred Care (GPCC) is funded by the Swedish government as part of a national initiative to stimulate research at Swedish universities. The government expects the centres it funds to do high quality research and to use this knowledge to change clinical practice. A multidisciplinary task force based at the university wrote a funding proposal with the goal of supporting cost effective, sustainable, and high quality healthcare. The proposal aimed to tackle the lack of engagement with patients’ own capacities, experiences, and goals in both research and clinical practice. It specifically focused on the paucity of controlled clinical trials in person centred care, the ethics and philosophy of the patient as a person, and the need to move research into everyday clinical practice. The centre was inaugurated in 2010 and includes health professionals and researchers from several disciplines, as well as a “person council” for patients …

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