Reflexivity--a strategy for a patient-centred approach in general practice

Fam Pract. 2000 Oct;17(5):430-4. doi: 10.1093/fampra/17.5.430.


Reflexivity as a strategy in general practice can be used to implement a patient-centred approach in the consultation. General practice has long represented a tradition attempting to integrate both illness and disease. For the GP, it is natural to focus on the patient's whole situation, and the GP's experience with patients is often based on a long-term relationship. Reflexivity implies having a self-conscious account of the production of knowledge as it is being produced. We believe that GPs can gain access to additional knowledge by consciously using reflexivity as a strategy in the consultation. In the present article, we discuss reflexivity in relation to the notions of empathy, personal experience and self-knowledge. By using reflexivity in order to rely on personal experience, the GP can gain access to patients' understanding of their health. Reflexivity can be a valuable concept for the GP in patient-centred medicine and can contribute to bridging the gap between the patient's perspective and the doctor's understanding of the patient's health.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Empathy
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Philosophy, Medical*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sociology, Medical
  • Thinking*