Person and family centred care

Although there is growing support to shift health care models toward putting the person receiving care at the centre, health systems are still very much organized around providers’ and system needs and perspectives. Organizations need help with changing their cultures and embedding Person and family centred care (PFCC) philosophies and practices across all levels of their organization.

Our work in this area
After 6 years of research to understand how to implement PFCC approaches across organizations, the Research Centre, in collaboration with Saint Elizabeth Education Services has launched a variety of resources and education and consulting services to make knowledge available across the country. For example, we partnered with Accreditation Canada to provide a series of workshops for healthcare leaders across Canada, and developed a user-friendly needs assesment survey so organizations can tell what they need to work on most. The full range of resources is available at

Our current work
In addition to the resources and services for healthcare organizations across the country, we are conducting research in little explored areas of PFCC. We will:
  • Launch a PFCC Community of Practice after consultation  with leaders and practitioners
  • Identify approaches, skills, knowledge and techniques that enable PFCC in teams and in virtual environment
  • Identify approaches, skills, knowledge and techniques that enable PFCC in virtual environments
  • Use opportunities in our other research (e.g., spiritual care, models of integrated care and transitions) to identify how providers become more attuned to responding to client and family needs

Some project overviews

Person and Family Centred Care: Bringing person and family centred care to life
More information
  • Project summary -- available here.
Striking a balance between self-care, family caregiving, and formal home care
This research focused specifically on the perspectives and experiences of older people using home care services.
More information
  • Project summary -- available here.
Evaluation of the feasibility of using a ‘hand-held’ fluorescence digital imaging device for real-time advanced wound care monitoring in a community setting
Wound care consumes a large proportion of community nursing time and contributes significantly to health care costs. Instant monitoring of wound healing, especially to detect the existence of bacterial contamination and/or infection over time, through an image-based method could have an impact on wound care in a clinical setting
  • Project summary -- available here.
Home-based diabetes self-management coaching delivered by paraprofessionals: A randomized controlled trial
This study evaluated PSW-led diabetes self-management coaching (DSMC) among 94 clients with type 2 diabetes recruited from a Community Care Access Centre in Ontario, Canada. While all clients demonstrated significant improvements in self-efficacy measures, there was no indication that this approach was better than standard care.
  • Project summary -- available here.

Recent highlights
Bender D, Holyoke P. Bringing Person and Family-Centred Care Alive in Home, Community and Long-Term Care Organizations. Healthcare Quarterly. 2016;19(1):70-5. Abstract available here.

Saint Elizabeth. A guide for implementing person and family centred care education across health organizations.2016.  Available from

Bender D, Majumder S, Holyoke P. Shifting organizational culture toward clients and families. Accreditation Canada's Quality Matters. 2016;8(2):30-7. Available here.

Bender D, Verlinden L. Building on the culture and heart of our organization through Person-Centred Care. Final Plenary at the Northwood 6th Annual Research Symposium, Continuing care and Beyond; Dartmouth, NS; May 13, 2016.

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