Development of a framework for person-centred nursing

J Adv Nurs. 2006 Dec;56(5):472-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.04042.x.


This paper presents the development and content of a person-centred nursing framework.

Background and rationale: Person-centred is a widely used concept in nursing and health care generally, and a range of literature articulates key components of person-centred nursing. This evidence base highlights the links between this approach and previous work on therapeutic caring.

Methods: The framework was developed through an iterative process and involved a series of systematic steps to combine two existing conceptual frameworks derived from empirical studies. The process included the mapping of original conceptual frameworks against the person-centred nursing and caring literature, critical dialogue to develop a combined framework, and focus groups with practitioners and co-researchers in a larger person-centred nursing development and research project to test its face validity.

Findings: The person-centred nursing framework comprises four constructs -prerequisites, which focus on the attributes of the nurse; the care environment, which focuses on the context in which care is delivered; person-centred processes, which focus on delivering care through a range of activities; and expected outcomes, which are the results of effective person-centred nursing. The relationship between the constructs suggests that, to deliver person-centred outcomes, account must be taken of the prerequisites and the care environment that are necessary for providing effective care through the care processes.

Conclusion: The framework described here has been tested in a development and research project in an acute hospital setting. Whilst there is an increasing empirical base for person-centred nursing, as yet little research has been undertaken to determine its outcomes for patients and nurses. The framework developed can be described as a mid-range theory. Further testing of the framework through empirical research is required to establish its utility for nursing practice and research.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Philosophy, Nursing