A mixed methods approach to the development of a Person-centred Curriculum Framework: surfacing person-centred principles and practices

Deirdre O'Donnell, Caroline Dickson, Amanda Phelan, Donna Brown, Gobnait Byrne, Shaun Cardiff, Neal F. Cook, Stephanie Dunleavy, Sergej Kmetec, Brendan McCormack

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Background: Internationally, the development of person-centred healthcare services is of strategic importance. Healthcare education has the potential to contribute to this agenda by preparing the future workforce as person-centred practitioners. However, there is a lack of clarity about how to design, deliver and evaluate curricula to support person-centred learning and practice cultures.
Aim: This article sets out to report on the methodological approach used to distil the key components of a Person-centred Curriculum Framework, and to critically evaluate the implications of this approach for curriculum development.
Methods: The McKinsey 7S methodology underpinned this project. A multiphase, mixed methods design was used to synthesise evidence on the components of a person-centred curriculum framework. The eight design stages included an e-survey, telephone interviews, and multiple national and international stakeholder engagement events. Responses were translated into English and synthesised using an adapted directed content analysis approach. Through the stakeholder engagement events, evidence was then integrated until consensus was reached on the key curricular components.
Results: A total of 24 academics from 10 countries across five disciplines took part in an e-survey, with responses in two languages. In addition, 31 telephone interviews were conducted with learners, educators and policymakers across six countries, in four languages. The survey and interview evidence was synthesised and presented in tabular form for each of the 7S categories, including a curriculum statement mapped to evidence exemplars, together with a set of thematic actions to assist programme teams in operationalising the Person-centred Curriculum Framework.
Conclusions: The project, using a multiphase, mixed methods design, underpinned by the 7S methodology, combined with a multiplicity of stakeholder perspectives, provided a rigorous approach to developing a Person-centred Curriculum Framework that is philosophically and methodologically aligned with person-centred principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Practice Development Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Jul 2022


  • curriculum framework
  • directed content analysis
  • healthcare education
  • McKinsey framework
  • Mixed methods
  • person-centred


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