The Person-centred Curriculum Framework: a universal curriculum framework for person-centred healthcare practitioner education

Neal F. Cook, Donna Brown, Deirdre O'Donnell, Tanya McCance, Caroline Dickson, Siri Tønnesen, Stephanie Dunleavy, Mateja Lorber, Helle Falkenberg, Gobnait Byrne, Brendan McCormack

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Background: Globally, humanising healthcare is a strategic response to a distinct need for personcentred approaches to practice. This movement has largely focused on the artefacts of healthcare
practice, with an emergent focus on the role of healthcare education in instilling and espousing the
core principles of person-centredness. It is increasingly recognised that how healthcare professionals
are educated is fundamental to creating learning cultures where person-centred philosophies can
be lived out and aligned with workforce and healthcare policy strategies. In 2019, six European
countries began collaboration on an Erasmus+ project, Person-centredness in Healthcare Curricula, to
develop a Person-centred Curriculum Framework. The other articles in this Special Issue focus on the
methodologies employed by the project team, and this article describes the framework.
Aim: While curricula exist with person-centredness as a focus, aim or component, few embrace personcentredness as an underpinning philosophy and theory, or use a whole-systems approach. This project
aimed to develop a universal curricular framework with the agility to work synergistically with existing
curricular processes, in pursuit of the development of person-centred healthcare practitioners and
Methods: The project used an iterative multiphase, mixed methods approach, including an e-survey
and interviews. Drawing on authentic co-design principles, to create our framework we engaged with
stakeholders in clinical practice and academic institutions as well as healthcare students and those
working in health policy and strategic workforce planning.
Results: We present a framework for the design, delivery and evaluation of curricula, structured using
a modified version of McKinsey’s 7S methodology, resulting in each component having a statement,
outcomes, and thematic actions to support the realisation of a person-centred curriculum.
Conclusion: Our Person-centred Curriculum Framework can facilitate congruency between healthcare
education and practice in the way person-centredness is defined and lived out through healthful
cultures. Given the iterative origins of the framework, we anticipate its evolution over time through
further exploration following its implementation and evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Practice Development Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Jul 2022


  • curriculum framework
  • curriculum planning
  • healthcare education
  • person-centred practice
  • collaboration


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