Patients’ perceptions and experiences of patient-centred
care in dietetic consultations
& L. Ball
Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Grifﬁth University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
School of Allied Health Sciences, Grifﬁth University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
dietetics, patient-centred care, patients’
perspectives, qualitative interviews.
I. Sladdin, School of Allied Health Sciences,
Grifﬁth University QLD 4222, Australia.
Tel.: +617 555 29702
How to cite this article
Sladdin I., Chaboyer W., Ball L. (2018) Patients’
perceptions and experiences of patient-centred
care in dietetic consultations. J Hum Nutr Diet.
Background: Patient-centred care (PCC) is essential to quality healthcare.
However, there is a paucity of research on PCC in dietetics, particularly
regarding patients’ experiences and perspectives of PCC. We aimed to
enhance our understanding of PCC in dietetics by exploring patients’ per-
ceptions and experiences of PCC in individual dietetic consultations.
Methods: The present study used qualitative methods, situated in a con-
structivist–interpretivist paradigm. Maximum variation purposive sampling
was used to recruit English speaking adult participants who had participated
in ≥1 dietetic consultations for nutrition care. Individual semi-structured
interviews explored participants’ perceptions and experiences of PCC in die-
tetic consultations. Data were analysed thematically.
Results: Eleven patients were interviewed between September and November
2016. Four overarching themes emerged: (i) fostering and maintaining car-
ing relationships; (ii) delivering individualised care; (iii) enabling patient
involvement; and (iv) taking control of one’s own health.
Conclusions: PCC is important to patients. Thus, there is opportunity for
dietitians to enhance the care they provide by adopting patient-centred
practices. As the ﬁrst study of its kind, these ﬁndings can inform future die-
tetic practice, education and research by contributing patients’ perspectives
of PCC. By understanding patients’ unique needs and preferences, dietitians
can better align their practice with a patient-centred approach. Further-
more, these ﬁndings are useful for informing future dietetic research and
Patient-centred care (PCC) is an essential component of
safe and quality health care
. The UK Health Founda-
tion describes PCC as care that affords people dignity,
respect and compassion, and offers coordinated, person-
alised and enabling care
. A similar deﬁnition has been
presented by the Institute of Medicine
. PCC dimen-
sions include exploring patients’ biopsychosocial context,
having positive clinician–patient relationships, practising
patient-centred communication, involving patients in
decision-making, and individualising care to meet
patients’ unique needs and preferences
there is an opportunity to enhance understanding of PCC
by including patients’ perspectives
The many important beneﬁts of PCC provide a strong
rationale for health professionals to adopt patient-centred
approaches to practice. For patients, PCC practises are
associated with increased satisfaction with
engagement in care
, increased quality of life, compe-
tence and autonomy
, reduced symptom burden,
improved functional capacity
, improved clinical out-
and reduced length of stay in hospital
eﬁts to healthcare systems and organisations include
ª 2017 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics