How do patients experience caring? Scoping review

Hannah Gillespie, Martina Kelly, Sarah Duggan, Timothy Dornan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
1009 Downloads (Pure)


Summarise empirical research into patients’ experiences of caring in order to promote this as a core condition for the work of health professionals.

A review team: carried out a scoping review with a phenomenological orientation that did not privilege any profession or context of care; comprehensively searched six databases from inception to the present, including all English language articles that report patients’ lived experiences of caring; and identified and contrasted uncaring experiences.

43 articles straddled nursing, medicine, and physiotherapy, and a wide range of care settings. Patients experienced caring when competent professionals displayed positive attitudes, communicated effectively, formed relationships, helped them navigate clinical services, and engaged emotionally.

This research provides a rich description of caring, which was derived from patients’, rather than professionals’, experiences.

Practice Implications
Whilst publications and basic professional curricula are dominated by the perspectives of single professions, this research describes patients’ experiences that can prepare all health professionals to be caring in collaborative, interprofessional practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1622-1633
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number9
Early online date31 Mar 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Mar 2017


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