Finding common ground: the role of integrative diagnosis and treatment planning as a pathway to person-centered care

Main Article Content

Neal Adams


Shared understanding between the provider and the patient is central to person-centered integrative diagnosis. Establishing common ground is critical to shared decision-making and person-centered care.  Following an assessment, a diagnostic summary or formulation should be developed and shared with the patient to establish a mutual understanding that can serve as the foundation for a person-centered treatment plan. However, many clinicians are at a loss as to how to create such a formulation; forms outlines and guidelines can be helpful, but cannot substitute for a genuine empathic connection and appreciation of the patient’s experience and life context.  There are useful examples of how common-ground can support the creation of person-centered plans and improved outcomes.

Article Details

Fourth Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine: Person-centered integrative diagnosis (PID)
Author Biography

Neal Adams, United Behavioral Health, Illinois

Dr Adams currently serves as Associate Medical Director for Public Sector Services with United Behavioral Health’s Illinois office.  In additional he has a consultancy addressing a range of mental health services related issues including but not limited to person-centered care, recovery and systems transformation, and primary care integration.  In addition he is a part-time member of the staff at the Petris Center for Health Policy at UC Berkeley and works with the Center on a range of projects including efforts to enhance mental health services and research in Eastern Europe.  Dr. Adams also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Psychiatric Administration and Management. Previously, Dr. Adams worked as Director of Special Projects for the California Institute for Mental Health. There, as a senior member of the staff, Dr. Adams was involved with and responsible for a wide range of projects focused on quality improvement and systems transformation through technical assistance, consultation, training as well as liaison and facilitation and research. Immediately prior to that job, Dr. Adams served three and one-half years as Medical Director for Adult Services with the California Department of Mental Health. He has also served as Medical Director for the New Mexico Division of Mental Health and Medical Director for Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services in Las Vegas.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has served as President of the American College of Mental Health Administration.  Dr. Adams’ writings include a book published in 2005 entitled Person Centered Treatment Planning for Metal Health and Addiction Recovery along with numerous policy monographs and journal articles. He is a frequent speaker at local, national and international conferences and provides training on treatment plans, clinical outcomes management and evidenced based practice implementation.  


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