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Person-centredness in gerontological nursing: an overview of the literature


Blackwell Synergy

Type: Report
Region: Northern Ireland

Professor Brendan McCormack Director of Nursing Research and Practice Development Nursing Development Centre 3rd Floor, Bostock House Royal Victoria Hospital Grosvenor Road Belfast, BT12 6BA Telephone: 028 9063 5332 E-mail: brendan.mccormack@royalhospitals.n-i.nhs.ukPerson-centred practice is a recurring theme in gerontological nursing literature. While there are many descriptive accounts of attempts at developing person-centred practice, in reality, there are few studies that identify the benefits of this way of working. Thus far, systematic research into person-centred nursing practice is poorly developed. This paper aims to explore the concept of person-centredness and person-centred practice in order to add clarity to discussions about the term in the context of gerontological nursing. This literature-based exploration discusses the meaning of the word ‘person’ and the way this word is translated into person-centred practice. It is argued that there are four concepts underpinning person-centred nursing: (i) being in relation; (ii) being in a social world; (iii) being in place and (iv) being with self. The articulation of these concepts through existing models of person-centred practice in nursing raises the recurring themes of knowing the person, the centrality of values, biography, relationships, seeing beyond the immediate needs and authenticity. There is a need for further research and development work in gerontological nursing to distinguish between person-centred practice and good quality care for older people.



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Blackwell Synergy. (2008) Person-centredness in gerontological nursing: an overview of the literature [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 17th October 2019].


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