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

Carole Gardener, Morag Farquhar, Gail Ewing, Christi Deaton

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To identify whether and how the Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) enables patients with chronic progressive conditions to identify, express and discuss their unmet support needs.
Thirteen SNAP-trained healthcare professionals (HCPs) 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 (COPD) over a four-month period. HCPs participated in a mid-pilot semi-structured interview (pilot site representatives) and end-of pilot focus group (all HCPs). Twenty patients who received SNAP were interviewed about their experiences (topic-guided). Transcripts analysed using framework approach.
There were differences in how HCPs delivered SNAP and how patients engaged with it; analysing the interaction of these identified a continuum of care (from person-centred to HCP-led) which impacted on 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.
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 HCPs with a mechanism for achieving holistic person-centred care in everyday practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChronic Illness
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Aug 2021


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

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