Patient-centredness is an increasingly popular approach in the management of chronic conditions, which can be adopted by medical practitioners in clinical practice. The key components of patient-centredness include: exploring the patient's disease or diagnoses and their experience of illness ; understanding the patient as a whole person, in their context ; using strategies to find common ground in the management of the patient's conditions, such as shared decision making ; broadening the basis of discussion during consultations from the presenting problem to incorporate prevention and health promotion ; enhancing the relationship between patients and doctors ; being realistic about the viability and uptake of these strategies. While some components of patient-centredness have been discussed in the alcohol and other drug literature and are part of contemporary practices (e.g. the use of motivational interviewing), prescribers of opiate substitution medications can benefit from using the fundamental approaches of patient-centredness in their practice. Patient-centredness can be a practical aid to managing difficult and proble&atic issues in the clinical practice of opiate substitution prescribing, and can assist prescribers to reflect on their own practice.
Drugs and Public Health: Australian Perspectives on Policy and Practice p. 95-102