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Patient-centred care as an approach to improving health care in Australia

      Abstract

      Patient-centred care (PCC) has emerged as a primary approach to health care. This approach emphasises partnerships in health between patients and healthcare professionals, acknowledges patients’ preferences and values, promotes flexibility in the provision of health care and seeks to move beyond the traditional paternalistic approach to health care. Thus, in addition to the physical aspects of health care, the PCC approach acknowledges a patient's beliefs and values towards wellbeing. One advantage of the PCC approach is its focus on enhanced patient satisfaction; however, recently, concerns have been raised as to the effects of the PCC on the evidence-based care approach, as the two approaches are viewed as mutually exclusive rather than complementary. The paper discusses the concept of PCC and considers its benefits both in relation to patients and health care organisations. It also considers the contribution of nurses to PCC and in the enhancement of service delivery.

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