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Give patients opportunities to take active role in care, study finds
Press release date05/12/2018
Patients need to be given opportunities to educate doctors about their experiences of living with their conditions to improve patient centred care, a recent study conducted in Leicester suggests.

A research team, led by Dr Veena Patel, a rheumatology consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals, investigated the views held by UK doctors at the specialist trainee grade on patient centred care (PCC). They found that while many doctors could identify the key components of PCC, there was not uniform underst
Press release

Patient centred care means focusing the care on the needs of the person rather than the needs of the service. Many patients have their own views on what is best for them and their own priorities in life. These need to be taken into consideration so that the patient feels listened to and respected. It also means creating a plan of care that fits with what the patient is ready, willing and able to do at that moment in time. This allows the patient to live the life they want and have a better quality of life, which is a marked shift from simply measuring clinical outcomes.

Patient centred care (PCC) is important for improving patient satisfaction, helping patients to take their medications correctly, having more favourable health outcomes (including survival) and reductions in the numbers of diagnostic tests and referral rates – with their associated costs. 

Dr Patel said: “The doctors interviewed in the study thought that skills for patient centred care are best learnt ‘on-the-job. However, many also saw a place for PCC training in formal educational sessions, role play and work that improves self-awareness through reflective practice and feedback processes to deliver good patient centred care. These were seen to be lacking in current NHS speciality training programmes”.

“Doctors in the study expressed that patient centred care can be improved with patient involvement along with the above other mentioned support. So it is vital for the patients to take an active role and participate in patient education sessions/participation events which increase their involvement working in partnership with doctors to achieve the desired outcome.”

Anna Severwright, a patient partner at Leicester's Hospitals, said: “I welcome this study because as a patient with multiple long term conditions it's really important to me that I am seen as a whole person by my doctors and my condition is managed in the wider context of my life. It's shifting the conversation from 'what's the matter with you?' to 'what matters to you?' and about me working with my doctors to create a shared plan so I can effectively manage my conditions and stay as well as possible."

Dr Alison Kinder, head of service for rheumatology at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “This study identifies how important patient feedback is to trainee doctors so they can develop into consultants who deliver patient centred care. This needs to be taken into account when planning the training of doctors within the NHS.”

Additional barriers to delivering PCC were team support, cultural barriers, and organisational support- such time, staffing and IT issues.

The article, ‘How do specialist trainee doctors acquire skills to practice patient-centred care? A qualitative exploration’ was published in the BMJ Open.


Peer-reviewed? Yes Type of study? Semi-structured interviews Subject of study? Humans (specialist trainee doctors) What do these labels mean?

Contact information:
Contact information
Rachael Dowling
Research Communications Manager
0116 258 4971

Notes for editors
There were 31 doctors interviewed in the study and each interview lasted for an average of 50 minutes each (range from 35-65 minutes). STs are specialist trainees who are senior residents/doctors/ clinical fellows, who are training within their chosen medical speciality with more than 5 years of experience after completing their medical undergraduate degree.

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