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Launch of online training in person-centred care


Post-it notes, discussions and practical exercises… An online training course in person-centred care is now being launched in health and social care services. The purpose is to increase patients’ influence in the care sector.

“This is about the patient’s role as a partner, how staff and patients make agreements, and how to document them in a health plan,” says Irma Lindström Kjellberg, Senior Adviser at the Centre för Person-Cetred Care, University of Gothenburg, who runs the course.

She continues: “Knowing about person-centred care is one thing, but the question is how to go about it. Here, we have a teaching tool that enables each service to implement its own training course.”

A majority of regions in Sweden are working to introduce person-centred care, involving a partnership between the patient, the patient’s family and the care professionals. It means listening to the patient’s own description and using it alongside other investigations as the basis for a health plan.

Ten training sessions

Using the online course, known as Med Människa (“Fellow Human”), is free of charge. It is implemented in groups of four to six people with mixed skills. The group are guided, step by step, through theory, discussion and exercises, in their everyday work as well.

Questions raised during the course may, for example, be how far employees take into account the patients’ own expert knowledge of themselves, how well the patients’ perceptions of their symptoms are understood, and how joint care planning is documented.

The three modules of the training — partnership, patients’ descriptions and documentation — comprise a total of ten occasions lasting 50 minutes each. However, depending on the desired focus, the training can be shortened. The sessions are always headed by someone in the group, either the same person every time or different individuals.

Shorter hospital stays and greater trust

The transition to person-centred care is sometimes described as a paradigm shift in healthcare services. Research shows that person-centred care can reduce the length of patients’ hospital stays and inspire greater trust in the services among care recipients.

“No doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant would admit not listening to the patients. But at the same time there’s a culture that makes it hard for lots of people to surrender power in matters where the patients should have more influence,” says Irma Lindström Kjellberg.

At GPCC, some 30 research projects are underway in person-centered care, rehabilitation and social care for various pathological conditions, and in care organization and implementation issues. Some 100 researchers in Sweden and abroad are associated with the Centre.

Course (in Swedish): Medmänniska

GPCC: Centre for Person-Centred Care

Contact: Irma Lindström Kjellberg

Images: Care staff taking part in the course (photo: Daniel Persson) and a portrait of Irma Lindström Kjellberg (photo: Elin Lindström Claessen).