Clinical supervision: A mechanism to support person-centred practice? An integrative review of the literature

Publication Name

Journal of Clinical Nursing


Aims: To explore whether clinical supervision has an influence on person-centred practice. Background: The ability to deliver person-centred care and the ability to engage in reflective practice are two key skills expected of nurses. Person-centred care shifts nurses thinking from the patient's disease state to their personhood. Clinical supervision has been proposed as a place to explore person-centred care. Person-centred practice extends person-centredness to enhance healthful relationships between care providers, services users and their significant others. Methods: An integrative literature was conducted with the key words ‘clinical supervision’ and ‘person-centredness’ within CINAHL, Medline, PsychInfo and Google Scholar. The PRISMA statement was used to report the identification, selection, appraisal and synthesis of articles and PRISMA diagram reports the selection process. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to appraise the articles, followed by a thematic analysis. The Template for Intervention Description and Replication was used to explore the concept of clinical supervision. Results: Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria. Person-centredness and clinical supervision are not universally defined concepts. Clinical supervision in this context was mainly an adjunct to educative programmes. Clinical supervision has a positive influence on participants’ person-centred attributes, but the influence on others is less clear. The clinical supervisor's qualities are pivotal to supervisions’ success. Conclusions: Clinical supervision is a common reflective strategy used to explore nursing practice, yet as a strategy to enhance person-centred practices, is under-researched. Participants can experience person-centredness when their supervisor has person-centred attributes, an important aspect in delivering person-centred care. Relevance to clinical practice: This review identified a gap in the literature between two common nursing concepts ‘clinical supervision’ and ‘person-centred care/practices’. There is a need to conduct further research into the combination of these concepts to seek ways to embed person-centredness into health care and everyday nursing practice.

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