Patient-centeredness: a new approach

Nephrol News Issues. 2002 Nov;16(12):80-2.


The following six components are necessary for patient-centered care: Exploring both the disease and illness with the patient. As suggested, this is done by asking questions about how the illness impacts the patient. Understanding the whole person. Open-ended questions and cultural sensitivity assist in gaining more information about the patient. Finding common ground regarding management. Dialysis centers can invite patients to treatment planning meetings and involve family. Incorporating prevention and health promotion. Provide patients with information about disease management in a patient-friendly manner. Enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. Authoritative approach that focuses only on the signs and symptoms of patients. In that model of care, the professional asks direct questions and gives patients directives. When failure occurs, it is seen as the patient's fault. The patient-centered model encourages patients' ideas, views patients and physicians as partners, takes patients' emotional and social environments into account, and requires open-ended questions and mutual participation. Embracing patient-centered care is clearly a win-win situation for patients and professionals. When provided with patient-centered care, patients report higher satisfaction and improved outcomes without significant increases in time and money for the provider. Patient-centered care also benefits health care professionals who become more fulfilled by the care they provide. Patient-centeredness is not something that will develop overnight; it will take practice, continued education, and in-services to be effectively provided to patients. For more information on patient-centered care, visit the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition's Web site at

MeSH terms

  • Counseling
  • Health Status
  • Humanism
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Quality of Life