EWMA Podcast: Person-centred Wound Care

HOST: Julie Jordan O'Brien is a former EWMA Council Member. She is an advanced nurse practitioner in plastic surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Ireland.

GUEST: Georgina Gethin is a EWMA's Scientific Recorder and the editor of the EWMA document Person-Centred Care - Patient Empowerment in Wound Management. She is Senior Lecturer and Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Important notes from episode 03 - Person-centred Wound Care:

Georgina Gethin explains how to understand person-centred care: 

Person-centred care implies talking about and trying to put into action an approach to our management that puts the patient at the centre of everything we do, whether it is in terms of the planning of our services or the planning of a treatment regimen. 

Person-centred care entails a partnership approach between clinicians and patients. Many patients are interested in being a part of the wound management team and being seen, as an expert because they live with the wound every day.


Person-centred wound care was the theme of the 2019 EWMA Conference, in Gothenburg

  • Gethin refers to the opening session of the EWMA 2019 Conference, when Claes Hultling, an attending physician and professor at the Karolinska Institute, told his story about living with a spinal cord injury. You can access the webcast of Dr Hulting’s speech for free in the EWMA Knowledge Centre. 
  • Gethin and Julie Jordan O’Brien are referring to the focus session on Malignant Fungating Wounds. You can also access the webcast of this session for free in EWMA’s Knowledge Centre. Gethin illustrated the person-centred approach to the management of patients with malignant wounds (achieving a shared understanding of the condition, treatment options available and risks and benefits of each of those).


‘No decision about me, without me’

Gethin refers to the report Making Shared Decision-making a Reality. No decision about me, without me. The report refers to the vision articulated by the British Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley: ‘Nothing about me, without me’.  In this report, you can read more about what this means in practice. 

Gethin and Jordan O’Brien discuss the historical shift from doctor-dominated treatments to managing wounds as a team. The new approach calls for including the patient in the team, although there is still a long way to go to implement person-centred care in daily practice. 

Gethin refers to the use of sensors and remote patient monitoring in wound management, a topic that Jordan O’Brien discussed with David Armstrong in the podcast ‘Understanding Diabetic Foot’.


EWMA Document on Person-Centred Care – Patient Empowerment in Wound Management

Gethin refers to the EWMA document Person-Centred Care – Patient Empowerment in Wound Management, which will be published in spring–summer 2020. The document’s author group will start by looking into the definition of person-centred care and ask patients what this approach means to them. Afterwards, the author group will look at the literature on person-centred care in wound management. Based on the document, the group will provide recommendations and educational support to clinicians and patients on how to achieve shared decision-making and facilitate their communication with each other.