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Patient-Centered Care

What is patient-centered care?

Patient-centered care is a philosophy of care that puts the patient front and center. It involves the patient and their family in all aspects of care and care decisions. In this type of care, you are the 'captain' of your medical team.

Understanding the important features of patient-centered care, and what you can do to help, will enhance your treatment experience. Our guiding principles are listed below:


Each person is different and has a unique set of strengths, goals, dreams, relationships and preferences. Our treatment should include these ideas.

For example, painting may be a very important activity if you are an artist. If you can't paint due to tremor, an occupational therapist can help with hand control or weighted utensils and brushes so that you may paint. If that isn't possible, then the goal may become finding  another type or medium for artistic expression.


As an active team member, you have the right to be involved in the decision making. You should be part of the decision to begin a treatment, understand what it can do and what it cannot fix. You can help decide if a treatment is important or the best fit for you.

It also means that you help define the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Doing this does require you to put in some work and effort.


This includes what is important to you. What do you need versus what you want? What do you value in life and how does it fuel your hopes and dreams?

Honestly answering these questions will help you and your team set goals for your treatment. It is important to be realistic in setting up these goals. For example, if you value your independence and hope to walk but have balance problems, using a walker will help you walk safely and remain independent.


Relationships are an important part of your life. It can be the connection you have with family or friends. It may be a connection you may have with animals, pets, your home, community, your religion or spirituality.

Include these people in your care if possible. Seek support groups and other ways to connect with people going through similar problems. Talk to your health care provider about relationship changes and concerns you may have.

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