Person-Centered Care for Older Adults with Chronic Conditions and Functional Impairment: A Systematic Literature Review

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Jan;64(1):e1-7. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13873. Epub 2015 Dec 2.


Person-centered care (PCC) shifts focus away from the traditional biomedical model in favor of embracing personal choice and autonomy for people receiving health services. It has become an important avenue for improving primary care, and older adults remain a priority target for PCC because they are more likely to have complex care needs than younger individuals. Nevertheless, despite a growing body of evidence regarding its use, PCC still lacks an agreed-upon definition. A literature review was conducted to explore extant scholarship on PCC for older adults, assess corresponding definitions of PCC, and identify important elements of quality PCC. Nearly 3,000 articles published between 1990 and 2014 were identified. Excluding search results outside the parameters of this study, the final review comprised 132 nonduplicate sources focused on patient-centered care or PCC in older adults. Fifteen descriptions of PCC were identified, addressing 17 central principles or values. The six most-prominent domains of PCC were holistic or whole-person care, respect and value, choice, dignity, self-determination, and purposeful living. The body of evidence reviewed suggests that PCC is an important area of growing interest. Although multiple definitions and elements of PCC abound-with many commonalities and some overlap-the field would benefit from a consensus definition and list of essential elements to clarify how to operationalize a PCC approach to health care and services for older adults. This work guided the development of a separate American Geriatrics Society expert panel statement presenting a standardized definition and a list of PCC elements for older adults with chronic conditions or functional impairment.

Keywords: care coordination; care delivery; care quality; patient-centered care; person-centered care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Motor Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Self Care*