Background: Governments, health organisations and regulatory bodies across the world are making their expectations explicit: healthcare professionals and organisations should be providing person-centred care. Yet, it is still not common practice.
Aims and objectives: This discussion article aims to explore some of the historical and current perspectives on the interrelated concepts of personhood and person-centred care, and to explain how the persistence of differing perspectives affects the way person-centred care is understood, implemented and evaluated. The article then aims to explain the need for person-centred cultures and practices, and to find a way to progress towards a person-centred agenda.
Methods: To develop an understanding of the evolution of and current approach to these concepts, a literature search was undertaken. This included a broad search of the grey literature and the Medline and CINAHL databases, as well as review of articles published in the International Practice Development Journal, and a number of books and literature recommendations.
Discussion: Multiple perspectives were found in relation to personhood and person-centred care. How personhood is viewed by healthcare staff and organisations has a direct impact on how person-centred care is delivered. Person-centred practice is a more inclusive concept as it advocates that staff should also experience person-centredness. However, to achieve sustainable person-centred practice, efforts may need to focus on investment in developing person-centred cultures at system and team levels. A person-centred framework can guide this change.
Conclusion: Person-centred care is espoused within health policies, visions and mission statements. However, the focus should be on person-centred cultures and on how these can be developed and embedded. The Person-centred Practice Framework can aid understanding, implementation and evaluation of person-centred practice for all.