Patients' perceptions and experiences of patient-centred care in dietetic consultations

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2018 Apr;31(2):188-196. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12507. Epub 2017 Sep 11.


Background: Patient-centred care (PCC) is essential to quality healthcare. However, there is a paucity of research on PCC in dietetics, particularly regarding patients' experiences and perspectives of PCC. We aimed to enhance our understanding of PCC in dietetics by exploring patients' perceptions and experiences of PCC in individual dietetic consultations.

Methods: The present study used qualitative methods, situated in a constructivist-interpretivist paradigm. Maximum variation purposive sampling was used to recruit English speaking adult participants who had participated in ≥1 dietetic consultations for nutrition care. Individual semi-structured interviews explored participants' perceptions and experiences of PCC in dietetic consultations. Data were analysed thematically.

Results: Eleven patients were interviewed between September and November 2016. Four overarching themes emerged: (i) fostering and maintaining caring relationships; (ii) delivering individualised care; (iii) enabling patient involvement; and (iv) taking control of one's own health.

Conclusions: PCC is important to patients. Thus, there is opportunity for dietitians to enhance the care they provide by adopting patient-centred practices. As the first study of its kind, these findings can inform future dietetic practice, education and research by contributing patients' perspectives of PCC. By understanding patients' unique needs and preferences, dietitians can better align their practice with a patient-centred approach. Furthermore, these findings are useful for informing future dietetic research and education.

Keywords: dietetics; patient-centred care; patients' perspectives; qualitative interviews.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Dietetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Therapy*
  • Nutritionists
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Self Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires