What is people-centred care?
One important angle of people-centred care is the focus on the overall wellbeing, choices, convenience and safety of the individual patient. Thus, it takes account of the social and personal circumstances of the person, not just the immediate requirements of medical treatment.
People-centred care (often interchangeably referred to as ‘patient-centred care’ or a ‘patient-centred approach’) aims to ensure that the delivery of care is as close and as conveniently available to the individual as is safe and cost–effective. It considers the patient to be the central figure in the continuum of care. It also means understanding the motivations of each patient and providing them with education and counseling tailored to their circumstances, all within the context of local social, structural and cultural factors.
Ambulatory care refers to treatment and care outside hospitals. In most cases people-centred care is linked to effective ambulatory models that represent the key cornerstone of care, and which support treatment at outpatient facilities and at home and take into account the social and economic vulnerabilities of the person. Such models often depend on supplementing the work of medical staff with active involvement by civil society and patient networks to give direct support to individual patients.
In TB, given that patients become non-infectious rapidly, for example, most often within two weeks of starting effective treatment, even in cases of multi-drug resistance, most individuals could be treated predominantly, if not solely, in ambulatory care.
People-centred care, however, is not limited to ambulatory models of care. There are potential health complications for any TB patient that can make hospitalisation necessary; such as some with multi-drug resistant disease or complex cases.
TB Coalition. (2017). Moving to People-Centred Care: Achieving better TB outcomes.