medical staff looking at patient
Photo: Zach Vessels

Person-centred care in long term conditions

Research group

Short description

Todays’ health and medical care is structured and organized in line with perspectives framed by acute medical care, with the primary aim of diagnosing and treating illness. However, the populations' future needs of health and medical care will be dominated by the needs stemming from long-term conditions. This requires a health and medical care with a different direction, focused on how patients perceive and manage their situation, how they can maintain their function and their independence and lastly, how well-being may be optimized.

Framed by the aim of diagnosing and treating illness it is common for patients within acute medical care to be ascribed the role as passive recipients of care. Instead, an effective provision of care should be person-centered and support the patients’ own abilities to control symptoms and perceived ill-health.

Given this background, the research group Person-centered care in long-term conditions was established at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences during spring 2015. Our vision is to contribute with new knowledge based on high-quality research of person-centered care relevant for medical, health and nursing care.

Philosophical orientation

The philosophical premise for the research group is that each human being is a person and should always be seen, understood and approached as an individual. Every person has his / her own unique context and will thereby meet health-, medical or nursing care with different prerequisites, abilities, resources, needs and barriers.

The narration by and about the person and his / her context constitutes the personal narrative and often includes experiences of discomforts and symptoms from long-term illness and ill health.

Person-centred care requires a partnership with the patien. This implies that the narrative is placed in a professional context with mutual understanding and respect for the resources, responsibilities and goals of both parties. The professional interpretation of the personal narrative should be a lasting cornerstone in the partnership and should be documented in an appropriate and relevant way.

Research activities

Within the group, descriptive research and intervention- and implementation research is conducted. The research comprises several different long-term conditions that require support from health: Medical and nursing care; specific diagnoses such as for example chronic heart failure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or a combination of several conditions and diagnoses.

The research further comprises development and implementation of person-centered care within different contexts: outpatient care, inpatient care, and care at distance etcetera.

Part of our research aims at increasing knowledge about how symptoms may be experienced, expressed, interpreted and relieved, and also the connections between symptoms and bodily dysfunctions.