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There is a growing consensus that patient-centered care is more effective in treating patients than a strictly biomedical model, where there are known challenges to involving the patient in assessments, treatment goals, and determining preferred outcomes.
The current study seeks to integrate patient values and perspectives by exploring how people diagnosed with a life-limiting disease define healing in their own words.
As a part of a larger study that included cognitive interviewing, we asked the question “what does the word healing mean to you?” Data were collected during face-to-face interviews with patients from three metropolitan healthcare facilities.
Thirty participants responded to the question “what does healing mean to you?” Seven themes were identified through the data analysis. These themes include acceptance, feeling better, pain, social support, process, religion/spirituality, and make whole. The feeling better, pain, and process themes have subthemes.
Significance of results
Probing to understand patient perspectives and how to provide a holistic approach to care is essential to patient treatment. Patients defined healing in a broader way than how it is typically defined in literature. The patients’ definitions provide greater insight into perceptions and expectations regarding the healing process.
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