Patient care models have been implemented and documented worldwide. Many studies have focused on features that hinder and facilitate the shift to such models, including the implementation process, staff involvement, resistance to new models and cultural dimensions. However, few studies have identified the potential effects of such new care models from a patient perspective. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether patients did in fact perceive the intentions of partnership in the new care model 1 year after its implementation.
Sixteen participants were interviewed, selected from two wards in a medical department where a new care model had been implemented 1 year earlier. A directed deductive content analysis was selected. The aim of the directed approach to content analysis was to investigate to what extent the new care model had been implemented, using patients’ perspectives to describe the level of implementation. A coding framework was developed based on a theoretical paper that described the key features of the new care model.
The implementation of person-centred care had clearly occurred to a large degree, even if some patients appeared not to have been exposed to the model at all. Aspects of the newly implemented care model were obvious; however, it was also clear that implementation was not complete. The analysis showed that patients felt listened to and that their own perception of the situation had been noted. Patients spontaneously expressed that they felt that the staff saw them as persons and did not solely focus on their disease. It was also stated that not every ailment or aspect of a patient’s illness needed to be addressed or resolved for open listening to be perceived as a positive experience.
The findings indicate that even though some patients were not interested in participating and playing an active role in their own care, this might relate to a lack of understanding on how to invite them to do so and to increase their confidence. To change healthcare from a paternalistic system to care where patients are seen as partners may require pedagogical skills.