Project for Integrative Health and the Triple Aim (PIHTA) - Knowledge Base

Reports and Papers from the Beryl Institute

Defining Patient Experience
Jason Wolf, Victoria Niederhauser, Dianne Marshburn, Sherri LaVela

This article synthesizes various ways of defining patient experience by examining research on this topic spanning across 14 years. Findings not only identify common themes and constructs, but missing components needed to create a unified definition of patient experience are also explored. Common themes and constructs reflect the values of integrative health and medicine since most definitions emphasize individualized care and the engagement of patients as active agents in their care. From this vantage point, patient experience is more than merely survey results; it encapsulates encounters over a period of time with multiple instances of interaction. Furthermore, existing definitions solicit and include input not only from patients themselves, but from other family members as well. These are indeed holistic or integrative notions that parallel a whole person approach to care intrinsic to all of the integrative professions.