The following is a summary of “People-centred primary health care: a scoping review,” published in the November 2023 issue of Primary Care by Khatri, et al.
Integrated people-centred health services (IPCHS) play a crucial role in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by offering comprehensive care. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized the importance of IPCHS in health service delivery and accessibility. For a study, researchers sought to synthesize existing evidence on people-centered primary health care (PHC) and primary care.
A scoping review of published literature on people-centered PHC was conducted, utilizing eight databases, including PubMed, Scopus, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Search terms related to people-centered and integrated PHC/primary care services were employed. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist guided the study selection process. Data analysis and theme generation were performed using Gale’s thematic analysis framework. Themes were categorized under five components of the WHO IPCHS framework.
A total of fifty-two studies were included, predominantly from high-income countries (HICs), with a primary focus on patient-centered primary care. Key themes identified under each WHO IPCHS framework component included engagement and empowerment of people and communities (community engagement, empowerment, and empathy); strengthening governance and accountability (organizational leadership and mutual accountability); reorienting the care model (residential care, multimorbidity care, and participatory care); coordinating services within and across sectors (partnership with stakeholders and sectors, and care coordination); creating an enabling environment and securing funding support (flexible management for change and creating an enabling environment).
While various people-centered PHC and primary care approaches are implemented in HICs, they receive limited attention in low-income countries. Strategies to enhance people-centered PHC involve engaging end users in delivering integrated care, ensuring accountability, implementing a residential care model in collaboration with communities, and adopting flexible management options to create an enabling environment for strengthening health systems delivering people-centred PHC services.