Debunking myths about person-centered care

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Editor’s Note: The Ida Institute is an independent, non-profit organization developing and integrating person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. As promised in a previous post, Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen as guest author on the Bernafon Blog tells us some of the common myths of person-centered care and addresses these with evidence-based myth busters.

Person-centered care can be a valuable addition to your practice. Despite research supporting the many benefits of person-centered care for hearing care professionals and their clients, several common misconceptions about the approach still prevail. The Ida Institute has debunked some of the common myths.

Myth 1: Person-centered care takes too much time.

Busted: Person-centered care (PCC) does not need to entail longer appointments. It can actually help you save time by allowing you to quickly uncover your clients' core challenges and needs. Yes, person-centered care requires an initial time investment to develop your skills. But you will save time in the long run, as you can reduce return visits.

Langewitz et al. (2002) found that just two minutes of uninterrupted listening is enough time to allow 80% of clients the time to express their story.

Myth 2: Person-centered care is not cost-effective.

Busted: Person-centered care decreases return rates, increases the effectiveness of appointments, and improves both client and staff satisfaction. Implementing person-centered care does not require large expenditures on technology, equipment, or facilities. You can increase both client and employee satisfaction and improve care at a low cost.

Studies, including those by Margalit and El-Ad (2008) and Stone (2008), have shown that person-centered care can lower operating costs in the field of health care. Spending time to counsel people with hearing loss and address their core needs can reduce the need for repeat return visits.

Little et al. (2001) showed that person-centered care may reduce symptom severity, the use of health care resources, and health care costs.

Myth 3: Person-centered care is too emotional and difficult to manage.

Busted: Managed effectively, emotion and empathy can be empowering for both clients and professionals. The person-centered approach allows you to develop trust and loyalty with clients and achieve better overall outcomes.

Evidence supports that incorporating empathy into care can lead to better clinical outcomes (Kim et al. 2004; Kerse 2004; Easter & Beach 2004).

Myth 4: My clients are already satisfied.

Busted: Providing the best service and running a profitable clinic requires more than simply reducing complaints. A person-centered approach means addressing all of your client’s needs to produce the highest levels of satisfaction. A satisfied client is not only loyal and will return to your clinic in the future but will increase the success of your practice through word-of-mouth referrals.

Studies show that person-centered care increases client satisfaction (Stone 2008; Margalit et al. 2004).

Read more about the Ida Institute and the concept of person-centered care in our previous blog post Be inspired by the Ida Institute and their tools for person-centered care or read more about why person-centered care really is good for business at

Comments? Share your thoughts about or experiences with person-centered care here.


Easter, D. W., & Beach, W. (2004). Competent patient care is dependent upon attending to empathic opportunities presented during interview sessions. Current Surgery, 61(3), 313–318.

Kerse, N., Buetow, S., Mainous, A.G. 3rd, Young, G., Coster, G., & Arroll, B. (2004). Physician-patient relationship and medication compliance: a primary care investigation. Annals Family Medicine, 2(5), 455-61.
PMCID: PMC1466710

Kim, S. S., Kaplowitz, S., & Johnston, M. V. (2004). The Effects of Physician Empathy on Patient Satisfaction and Compliance. Evaluation & the Health Professions, 27(3), 237–251.

Langewitz, W. (2002). Spontaneous talking time at start of consultation in outpatient clinic: cohort study.BMJ, 325(7366), 682–683.

Little, P., Everitt, H., Williamson, I., Warner, G., Moore, M., Gould, C., … Payne, S. (2001). Observational study of effect of patient centredness and positive approach on outcomes of general practice consultations. BMJ, 323(7318), 908–911.

Margalit, A. P. A., & El-Ad, A. (2008). Costly patients with unexplained medical symptoms: A high-risk population. Patient Education and Counseling, 70(2), 173–178.

Margalit, A. P. A., Glick, S. M., Benbassat, J., & Cohen, A. (2004). Effect of a biopsychosocial approach on patient satisfaction and patterns of care. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19(5), 485–491.

Stone, S. (2008). A retrospective evaluation of the impact of the Planetree patient-centered model of care on inpatient quality outcomes. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 1(4), 55-69.
PMID: 21161915


About the author:

Lise Lotte Bundesen
Lise Lotte Bundesen,
Managing Director of the Ida Institute

Lise Lotte Bundesen is the Managing Director of the Ida Institute - an independent, non-profit organization working with hearing care professionals and patients from around the world to develop and integrate person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. Ms. Bundesen was the architect behind the creation of the institute in 2007. She has extensive experience in the fields of communication, education/training, ethics and social responsibility and has worked in the health-care arena for many years, specifically for the multinational company Novo Nordisk.