The concept of child-centred care in healthcare: a scoping review

BERNIE CARTER*, Sarah Young, Karen Ford, Steven Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Although child-centred care is increasingly referred to within the nursing literature, a clear definition of child-centred care and clarity around the concept is yet to be achieved. The objectives of this review were to examine the following: (1) What constitutes the concept of child-centred care in healthcare? (2) How has the concept of child-centred care developed? (3) What is the applicability of child-centred care and what are its limitations? (4) How does the concept of child-centred care benefit and inform children’s healthcare? In total, 2984 papers were imported for screening, and, following the removal of duplicates and screening, 21 papers were included in the scoping review. The findings suggest that child-centred care is an emerging, ambiguous poorly defined concept; no clear consensus exists about what constitutes child-centred care. Although it seems antithetical to argue against child-centred care, little robust evidence was identified that demonstrates the impact and benefit of child-centred care. If child-centred care is to be a sustainable, convincing model to guide practice and compete with other models of care, it needs to establish robust evidence of its effectiveness, the impact on children and their families, as well as the wider impacts on the healthcare system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-134
Number of pages26
JournalPediatric Reports
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Child-centred care
  • agency
  • participation
  • decision making
  • communication
  • impact
  • Pediatrics


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