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Types of centredness in health care: themes and concepts

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Julian Hughes, Claire BamfordORCiD, Professor Carl May


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Background For a variety of sociological reasons, different types of centredness have become important in health and social care. In trying to characterize one type of centredness, we were led to consider, at a conceptual level, the importance of the notion of centredness in general and the reasons for there being different types of centeredness. Method We searched the literature for papers on client-, family-, patient-, person- and relationship-centred care. We identified reviews or papers that defined or discussed the notions at a conceptual level. The reviews and papers were analyzed as text transcripts. Results We identified 10 themes that were common to all the types of centredness. At a conceptual level we could not identify thematic differences between the types of centredness. These findings were subjected to a philosophical critique using ideas derived from Wittgenstein. Conclusion Different types of centredness are required in different contexts. The differences are justified by their practical utility. The unifying themes of centredness, however, reflect a movement in favour of increasing the social, psychological, cultural and ethical sensitivity of our human encounters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes JC, Bamford CH, May CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

Year: 2008

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Pages: 455-463

ISSN (print): 1386-7423

ISSN (electronic): 1572-8633

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s11019-008-9131-5


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