A map for patient-centred care
A map for patient-centred care



Despite the pandemic's effects, GPs' caseloads continue to grow with chronic disease management, community-based acute care, and other generalist care. It is necessary to continue to support general practice with patient-centred care. GPs and patients provide valuable insight into their perspectives and experiences and should continue to be engaged to provide feedback to researchers, primary care organisations, and policy-makers. Engaging with patient advocates for topics that call for knowledge of complex concepts within a local health system is essential.


Mr Bryce Brickley

PhD Candidate, Healthy Primary Care, Griffith University and  Gold Coast Primary Health Network



Patient-centred care is a topic that evokes considerable discussion and energy by health consumers, policy makers and clinicians. With no current universal definition, patient-centred care is hampered in its ability to be consistently delivered in practice. Researchers from Griffith University, in partnership with the Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN), are undertaking a series of research projects to build upon patient-centred care's understanding as delivered by general practitioners (GPs). The work also aims to identify new, practical strategies to support primary health organisations, consumers, and clinicians with patient-centred care.

The first study of this series, published in Family Practice , developed a GP-delivered patient-centred care theoretical model with four main components. The second study sought to explore care's lived experiences and perceptions by patient advocates and GPs. These were discussed in focus groups on the Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales, and the findings published in BMJ Quality and Safety .

Engaging with patient advocates and GPs identified patient-centred care to be a multi-faceted, highly individual concept. Patient advocates and GPs evaluated the theoretical model and informed the development of a patient-centred care map. The established, multi-faceted patient centred care definition needs to be placed into tools to support general practice teams with patient-centred care.  

The third phase of the research series engaged with general practice teams to test a new, collaborative tool kit that supports the understanding and implementation of patient-centred care. However, the pandemic caused significant changes to the general practice landscape, shifting priotities away from intensive research on patient-centred care to the roll out of 2021's influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

The final phase of the research series was revised in response to the current environment of general practice. In March 2020, our research team commenced recruitment for a less-intensive study, which aims to explore the attitudes and experiences of high performing general practice staff with patient-centred care in the context of the pandemic.