oa Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Family-centred care in intensive care units - editorial

Volume 34 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1562-8264
  • E-ISSN: 2078-676X



Family-centred care (FCC) is a partnership approach to health decisionmaking between the family and the healthcare provider. FCC has been recognised by numerous medical societies, healthcare systems, legislative bodies and the Institute of Medicine as integral to patient health, satisfaction and healthcare quality. FCC was codified in 1992 by the Institute for Patient and Family- Centered Care in the USA, which described elements of FCC as recognising the family as a constant in the patient’s life and facilitating family-professional interactions at all levels of healthcare. It requires that the patient’s family participates and collaborates with healthcare professionals as partners in care. The concept emphasises that a patient’s healthcare decisions should be contextualised in terms of their broader life experiences. FCC is commonly used to describe optimal health as an experience of families. The term is frequently accompanied by terms such as ‘partnership’ and ‘collaboration’, and families as ‘experts’ to describe the process of care delivery.

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