Patient-centered care in chronic disease management: a thematic analysis of the literature in family medicine

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Aug;88(2):170-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.01.009. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


Objective: The objective was to provide a synthesis of the results of the research and discourse lines on main dimensions of patient-centered care in the context of chronic disease management in family medicine, building on Stewart et al.'s model.

Methods: We developed search strategies for the Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases, from 1980 to April 2009. All articles addressing patient-centered care in the context of chronic disease management in family medicine were included. A thematic analysis was performed using mixed codification, based on Stewart's model of patient-centered care.

Results: Thirty-two articles were included. Six major themes emerged: (1) starting from the patient's situation; (2) legitimizing the illness experience; (3) acknowledging the patient's expertise; (4) offering realistic hope; (5) developing an ongoing partnership; (6) providing advocacy for the patient in the health care system.

Conclusion: The context of chronic disease management brings forward new dimensions of patient-centered care such as legitimizing the illness experience, acknowledging patient expertise, offering hope and providing advocacy.

Practice implications: Chronic disease management calls for the adaptation of the family physician's role to patients' fluctuating needs. Literature also suggests the involvement of the family physician in care transitions as a component of patient-centered care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Disease Management*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Physician's Role
  • Physician-Patient Relations