By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Person-centredness in the community care of older people: A literature-based concept synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Mark Wilberforce
  • David Challis
  • Linda Davies
  • Michael P Kelly
  • Chris Roberts
  • Paul Clarkson


Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Apr 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2016
DatePublished (current) - 18 Dec 2016
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)86-98
Early online date10/06/16
Original languageEnglish


‘Person-centredness’ is a ubiquitous term, employed in modern care services to signify policies and practices that attend to the uniqueness of each individual user. Despite being highly regarded in older adult community care services, there is much ambiguity over its precise meaning. Existing reviews of person-centredness and its attributes have tended to focus on the medico-nursing literature, neglecting other interpretations, such as those relevant to community social care. A new literature-based concept synthesis reported here identified 12 common attributes within the broad themes of ‘understanding the person’, ‘engagement in decision-making’ and ‘promoting the care relationship’. The review also contrasts how these attributes are applied across different interpretations of person-centredness. The article argues that not all attributes necessarily pull in the same direction, and that older adults may require them to be delivered in different ways than they are to younger people. Thus, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach should be discouraged in community care. Key Practitioner Message: • ‘Person-centredness’ is open to multiple interpretations, causing difficulties for services trying to gauge performance and quality; • Three themes are central to person-centred services: ‘understanding the person’, ‘engagement in decision-making’ and ‘promoting the care relationship’; • A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to applying person-centredness is to be discouraged.

    Research areas

  • community care, concept synthesis, older people, patient-centred medicine, person-centred care

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