Aims and objectives: To identify person-centred care as an intervention in controlled trials, where patients had been involved as a partner, and to describe the outcomes of these studies.
Background: The notion of person-centred care asserts that patients are persons and partners in care and should not be reduced to their disease alone.
Design: A systematic literature review.
Method: Searches were undertaken in the databases PUBMED and CINAHL. The inclusion criteria were that person-centred care as an intervention was described as a partnership between the caregiver and the patient, and that the studies were randomised controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs. The studies were analysed based on methodology, context and type of intervention, outcomes and effects of the interventions. Eleven trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria.
Results: The studies were carried out in a variety of contexts with diverse outcomes. Person-centred care as an intervention was shown to be successful in eight of the studies. The internal and external validity in the studies were generally good. However, as regards the precision of the studies there was a wide variation.
Conclusions: The value and efficacy of person-centred care as an intervention have only been studied to a limited extent. Methodological problems in trial design and execution could account for the general lack of research on person-centred care. Evidence that person-centred care is effective is insufficient, more stringent studies are needed.
Relevance to clinical practice: The results suggest that person-centred care may lead to significant improvements, but the implementation and relevant effects needs to be assessed in more studies.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.