There is much that people can do actively to increase their chances of a healthy life. This includes exercising, eating well, avoiding health risks, not smoking and limiting alcohol. Community initiatives and health promotion activities complement individual efforts. Health promotion involves enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health status.
Person-centred care: the evidence
A collection of evidence summaries and reports showing the impact of person-centred care.
One of the core components of person-centred care is engaging people in decisions about their own care and treatment.
Frequently, treatment decisions are not just about clinical effectiveness. Where there are different options with different benefits and harms, it is important that these are tested against the values, preferences and circumstances of the individual patient.
For example, faced with a similar treatment decision, one person may prefer surgery that removes pain but requires long recovery; another may prefer ‘watchful waiting’ and pain management.
How healthcare is experienced can be just as important as what treatment people receive. Patient experience refers to how people think and feel about what happens when they use health services.
When people have a better experience of healthcare, it can lead to better outcomes, including reduced resource use. This is a key priority for policy and practice, yet more needs to be done to ensure that all patients have a good experience of healthcare..
Providing clear and useful information is an important component of supporting people to be involved in decisions and to make positive choices. But information alone is often not enough.
There is a close correlation between ill health and low levels of health literacy. Health literacy has been defined as the ability to read, understand and act upon health information.