Resident outcomes of person-centered care in long-term care: a narrative review of interventional research

Int J Nurs Stud. 2014 Oct;51(10):1395-415. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.04.003. Epub 2014 Apr 18.


Background: Person-centered care has been widely promoted in long-term care settings. It is commonly referred to as a core concept that guides the care philosophy change in long-term care settings from a traditional medical model to a more humanistic approach to care. Current person-centered practice in long-term care settings is guided by multiple person-centered care models. However, evidence regarding the effects of person-centered practice guided by multiple models on residents' outcomes has not been well established or synthesized.

Objectives: To outline and compare the principal models and to synthesize current evidence of the effects of multiple person-centered care models on resident outcomes.

Method: Systematic searches were conducted using CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychoINFO, Evidence Based Medicine Reviews, Cochrane Review databases, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses using the following keywords (UK and US spellings) individually and in multiple combinations: person-centered care, resident-centered care, client-centered care, individualized care, patient-centered care, culture change, Eden Alternative, Wellspring, Green House, Pioneer Network, dementia, nursing home, assisted living and long-term care. The searches were limited to articles written in English and published from January 1990 to April 2013. Then a manual search of the reference lists of selected relevant articles was conducted.

Results: Twenty-four studies from three countries were reviewed and compared in terms of person-centered interventions, measurement, and resident outcomes. 15 culture change studies for residents who were cognitively intact or with minor cognitive impairment and 9 studies for residents with dementia were reviewed. Across the studies, culture change models had some beneficial effects on residents' psychological wellbeing. Person-centered dementia care had significant effects on decreasing behavioral symptoms and psychotropic medication use in dementia residents in long-term care.

Conclusion: An agreed upon definition of person-centered care is essential for researchers and clinicians to guide person-centered care development and implementation. Rigorous study design and objective and subjective measurement use are needed for future studies, especially those guided by culture change models. The effectiveness of person-centered care on residents' bio-psycho-social outcomes like sleep, stress, and physical wellbeing need to be addressed and systematically examined with subjective and objective measures in future studies.

Keywords: Culture change; Dementia; Long-term care; Outcomes; Person-centered care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Narration*
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Treatment Outcome*