Understanding how the Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) enables identification, expression, and discussion of patient support needs: A qualitative study

Carole Gardener, Gail Ewing, Christi Deaton, Morag Farquhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To identify whether and how the support needs approach for patients enables patients with chronic progressive conditions to identify, express and discuss their unmet support needs. 

Methods: Thirteen healthcare professionals trained in the Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP), recruited from three pilot sites in the East of England (across primary, community and secondary care) delivered SNAP to 56 patients with the exemplar condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease over a 4-month period. Healthcare professionals participated in a mid-pilot semi-structured interview (pilot site representatives) and end-of pilot focus group (all healthcare professionals). Twenty patients who received SNAP were interviewed about their experiences (topic-guided). Transcripts analysed using a framework approach. 

Results: There were differences in how healthcare professionals delivered SNAP and how patients engaged with it; analysing the interaction of these identified a continuum of care (from person-centred to healthcare professional-led) which impacted patient identification and expression of need and resulting responses. When delivered as intended, SNAP operationalised person-centred care enabling patient-led identification, expression and discussion of support needs. 

Discussion: SNAP addresses the rhetoric within policy, good practice guidance and the person-centred care literature espousing the need to involve patients in identifying their needs and preferences by providing healthcare professionals with a mechanism for achieving holistic person-centred care in everyday practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-926
Number of pages16
JournalChronic Illness
Issue number4
Early online date22 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Person-centred care
  • clinical intervention
  • long-term conditions
  • support need

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