Delivering nutritional care with a patient-centered approach

Patient-centered care (also known as individualized care or personalized care) puts the focus on the patient’s perspective, their goals and on shared decision-making, such that patients have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered based on what matters to them1

Did you know that up to 81% of patients aren't truthful with their doctors to avoid being judged [3]?

Shared decision making is a collaborative process between the clinician as the expert on treatment options, evidence, risks and benefits, and the patient as the expert about their preferences, personal circumstances, goals, values and beliefs1. Better conversations between clinicians and patients is a key part of the process and provides an easily accessible, low cost innovation to help achieve better health2. The patient and clinician collaborate to identify the patient’s personally relevant goals and actions, which may be life-related rather than condition-related2.

Watch John’s story

John didn’t want to bother the doctor. He felt he should just struggle and get on with it as best he could. With a personal approach a true difference can be made to outcomes for patients like John. Watch John’s story and receive updates on the Nutricia Individual Care program.

Watch Mary’s story

Mary had been losing weight for some time and secretly feeling happy about it. So Mary didn’t finish the medical nutrition prescribed by her doctor. With a personal approach a true difference can be made to outcomes for patients like John. Watch Mary’s story and receive updates on the Nutricia Individual Care program.

Do you ask your patient “How do you feel?”

A study identifying positive and negative factors affecting adherence of patients and staff to an integrated physical activity and nutritional intervention during and after hospital admission in older patients found that when individualized goals and plans, instructions, time and knowledge were clear to both staff and patients this led to successful change in daily behaviour [5].


Open-ended questions and focused active listening are essential communication skills needed for effective patient-centered care. Considering the patient’s perspective and showing empathy by discussing feelings, ideas, concerns and expectations can greatly enhance adherence and outcome to an intervention. Research has shown improved adherence and outcomes among patients who are engaged, empowered and self-managing4-7. Creating a better understanding of patient perspectives and motivation by asking the right questions and talking about goals can help deliver high quality, person-centered healthcare.

Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer participating in a 6-week individualized behavior change study which combined physical activity and nutritional guidance during palliative rehabilitation were motivated to make positive behavior changes through collaborating with their healthcare professional to identify individualized weekly goals. A key implication for practice highlighted by the authors was ‘willingness by patients to engage in dialogue about lifestyle choices is important, as it is through such communications that clinicians may enable a focus on what matters to the patient [6].

Are you asking the right question?

Discover how asking open questions and having an engaging conversation with your patients can help you to make the right choices together and improve adherence and health outcomes through targeted nutritional management. Receive updates on the Nutricia Individual Care program:

Download Nutricia’s fact sheet on our recommended approach to ask the right questions to your patients and create engaging conversations.

Optimizing nutritional management with tailored solutions

As a healthcare professional you put your patients at the heart of everything you do. At Nutricia we re-imagined our product portfolio to support you in delivering targeted nutritional management to better meet your patient’s needs and goals. Discover our new adult ONS portfolio overview:

View Portfolio

Be first to gain access to new practical tools and educational services

Sign-up to receive updates on the Nutricia Individual Care program, be informed of unique online learning opportunities, early release tools and services on targeted nutritional management. 

  1. NHS, UK, Comprehensive model of personalised care. July 11, 2020.
  2. NHS, UK, Better conversations are the key to better health. July 11, 2020.
  3. Levy AG, Scherer AM, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, et al. Prevalence of and factors associated with patient nondisclosure of medically relevant information to clinicians. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1:e185293-e185293.
  4. McCarley P. Patient empowerment and motivational interviewing: Engaging patients to self-manage their own care. Nephrology Nursing Journal. 2008;36:409-13.
  5. Andreasen J, Soendergaard LN, Holst M. Factors affecting patient and nursing staff adherence to an integrated physical activity and nutritional intervention targeting functional decline on an acute medical ward: a qualitative study. Patient Prefer Adherence 2018;12:1425-35.
  6. Payne C, McIlfatrick S, Larkin P, et al. A qualitative exploration of patient and healthcare professionals' views and experiences of palliative rehabilitation during advanced lung cancer treatment. Palliat Med. 2018;32:1624-32.
  7. Holst M, Søndergaard LN, Bendtsen MD, et al. Functional training and timed nutrition intervention in infectious medical patients. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016;70:1039-1045.
Frailty & Disease Related Malnutrition

There are now more people over 65 than under 5 years old. Particularly during times of illness, nutrition places an important role.

Our expertise in nutrition

Together with partners from around the world, we continue to build upon our unique knowledge of nutrients and their specific roles in the body to develop breakthrough nutritional solutions that help people live longer, more joyful and healthier lives. 

More about disease related malnutrition

Losing weight during times of illness is common but can have a negative effect on the body’s ability to fight disease and recover.

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