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Patient and family-centred care in practice


The values of patient and family-centred care are incorporated throughout interactions with patients and/or their families


+ What is patient and family-centred care?

  • Patient and family-centred care is driven by the goal to meet the needs of patients and their family in all aspects of the healthcare interaction. It is a model within which providers seek to partner with patients and families to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs and preferences while being guided by core values:1-3
    • Respect: Consideration for people’s wishes, concerns, values, priorities, perspectives and strengths
    • Human dignity: Treating people as whole and unique human beings, not as problems or diagnoses
    • Patients as leaders: Patients are experts in their own lives. Follow the lead of patients with respect to information giving, decision making, care in general and involvement of others
    • Collaboration: Members of the multidisciplinary team aim to reduce fragmentation and enhance the quality and safety of care provided to patients4

  • Patient and family-centred care is being adopted across the world by those in all fields of healthcare including the MRT professions. The model and its values form a cornerstone of these best practice guidelines – underpinning and informing all domains within these documents.

+ Patient and family-centred care in practice

  • The CAMRT Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice reflect the importance of patient and family-centred care in the MRT professions, stressing the importance of respect, dignity and patient advocacy throughout.1,2
  • The primary opportunity for the MRT to affect patient and family-centred care comes through direct interaction with the patient:3-8
    • Respect patient values, expressed needs and the choices they make
    • Make the patient the focus of attention for the duration of the visit
    • Listen to and ask patients about their concerns to let them know that their best interests are a priority7
    • Respect the patient's presence in a room -- avoid social conversations that do not involve/include the patient
    • Take the opportunity to identify and discuss patient and family concerns
    • Alleviate fear and anxiety by answering questions and providing information
    • Respect a patient's right to confidentiality, including requesting their permission to hold discussions with others present (e.g., family members)
    • Follow the patient’s lead to set the tone of conversation
    • Use open-ended questions to establish the patient as leader
    • Provide the patient with options where available, involve them in decisions
    • Make adjustments where possible to provide a more comfortable experience for the patient, for example, music has been successfully used to alleviate anxiety and fear9

+ References

  1. Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Code of Ethics. Available at: Accessed February 24, 2012.
  2. Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. Standards of Practice. Available at: Accessed February 24, 2012.
  3. Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Available at: Accessed March 22, 2012.
  4. Canadian Medical Association. Putting Patients First®: Patient-centred collaborative care. A discussion paper. July 2007. Available at: Accessed April 26, 2012.
  5. Frampton S, et al. Patient-centered Care Improvement Guide. Planetree and Picker Institute, 2008. Available at: Accessed February 24, 2012.
  6. Nelligan P, et al. Client Centered Care. Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2006. Available at: Accessed February 24, 2012.
  7. Reynolds A. Patient-centered care. Radiol Technol. 2009;81(2):133–147.
  8. The Patient Centered Care Improvement Guide: Practical Approaches for building patient-centered culture. Available at: Accessed March 22, 2012.
  9. Agwu K, Okoye I. The effect of music on the anxiety levels of patients undergoing hysterosalpingography. Radiography. 2007;13:122-125.
  10. Anderson C. Is Music Therapy an Effective Way to Reduce Distress and Increase Coping Skills in Pediatric Oncology Patients during their First Radiation Therapy Treatment? J Med Radiat Sci. 2014;45(2):178-179.




November, 2015


Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097