Person-centered care content in medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, and physiotherapy education programs

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Jun 24;22(1):492. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03502-8.


BACKGROUND: Although person-centered care (PCC) ensures high-quality care for patients, studies have shown that it is unevenly applied in clinical practice. The extent to which future health care providers are currently offered education in PCC at their universities is unclear. We aimed to clarify the PCC content offered to students as a basis for their understanding by exploring the PCC content of Swedish national study programs in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy.

METHODS: Using a qualitative document analysis design, we sampled the steering documents from all higher education institutions (n = 48) with accreditation in medicine (n = 7), nursing (n = 25), occupational therapy (n = 8), or physiotherapy (n = 8) at a single time point. All national study programs (n = 4), local program syllabuses (n = 48), and local course syllabuses (n = 799) were reviewed using a 10-item protocol.

RESULTS: We found no content related to PCC in the steering documents at the national level. At the local level, however, signs of PCC were identified in local program syllabuses and local course syllabuses. Seven of the 48 local program syllabuses (15%) included PCC in their intended learning outcomes. Eight of the 799 local course syllabuses (1%) contained course titles that included the phrase ‘person-centered care,’ and another 101 listed 142 intended learning outcomes referring to PCC. A total of 21 terms connected to PCC were found, and the term ‘person-centered care’ was most commonly used in the nursing programs and least commonly in the medical programs.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a broad range in how the national study programs in Sweden have incorporated PCC. The implementation has been driven by a bottom-up strategy. A deliberate and standardized strategy is needed to ensure full implementation of PCC into clinical curricula in higher education.

PMID:35739515 | DOI:10.1186/s12909-022-03502-8

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