Widening the Paradigm in Medicine and Health: Person-Centred Medicine as the Common Ground of Traditional, Complementary, Alternative and Non-Conventional Medicine

Part of the Advances in Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine book series (APPPM, volume 1)


This chapter outlines the paradigm of person-centred medicine and its contribution to the growing pluralism of medical science. It adds to the paradigm of personalised medicine. It is characterised by a holistic approach, which stems from the demands of patients for a greater humanisation of medicine, individualisation of treatments and autonomy in the choice of therapeutic processes. It finds fertile soil especially in the fields of primary care, paediatrics and geriatrics where there is the most pressing need to reintegrate an image of the human being fragmented by specialism. It answers the needs of patients and healthcare workers to rebuild an effective therapeutic relationship based on trust, empathy, compassion and responsiveness to individual needs and values. The concept of person-centred medicine gains epistemological and practical tools from the common ground of traditional medicine (TM), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or non-conventional medicine (NCM) (or TCAM for brevity) as visions that observe and investigate nature strictly linked to the bio-psycho-spiritual entity of every human being. The common feature of TCAM systems is a person-centred, salutogenetic, pro-active, pro-resilient healing approach. The current situation of NCM in Europe shows the increasing demand for what these holistic medical systems can offer on the issues of health and future healthcare development.


Personalised medicine Person-centred medicine Complementary and alternative medicine Traditional medicine Non-conventional medicine Medical anthropology Health Salutogenesis Healthcare system Sociology of health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of HealthRomeItaly
  2. 2.Charity Association for Person-Centred MedicineBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Observatory and Methods for HealthUniversity of Milano-BicoccaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Italian Society of Anthroposophic Medicine (SIMA)MilanoItaly

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