Patient-centredness – Mead & Bower

You may have heard the phrase ‘patient-centredness’ applied to consulting. In 2000, Mead and Bower performed a literature search in an attempt to discover what is meant by patient-centeredness. They identified five ‘conceptual dimensions’ of patient-centredness:

  • A BIOPSYCHOLOGICAL perspective – expanding the scope of the consultation to include the social and psychological dimensions of health.

  • The PATIENT-AS-A-PERSON – understanding the individual’s experience of illness.


  • The THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE – recognising that the relationship is not just about management, but has therapeutic potential. Similar to Michael Balint’s idea of the doctor as a drug/Neighbour’s doctor as a catalyst.

  • The DOCTOR-AS-A-PERSON – considering the contribution that the individual doctor makes to the relationship.

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