The Fundamentals of Care Framework

The Fundamentals of Care Framework (2013)

Much of the ILC’s work is underpinned and supported by the Fundamentals of Care Framework.

The Framework outlines what is involved in the delivery of safe, effective, high-quality fundamental care. It emphasises the importance of nurses and other healthcare professionals developing trusting therapeutic relationships with care recipients and their families/carers. It also emphasises the need to integrate people’s different fundamental needs; namely their physical (e.g., nutrition, mobility) and psychosocial needs (e.g., communication, privacy, dignity), which are mediated through the care provider’s relational actions (e.g., active listening, being empathic). The Framework also outlines that the context in which care is taking place must support care providers to develop relationships and integrate the needs of those they are providing care for.

The Framework was created from the expertise and experience of ILC members. The Framework has continued to stand as the ILC’s position paper, and has been used in subsequent research and education activities by ILC members. The ILC continues to refine and improve the Framework to ensure it meets the needs of clinicians, educators and researchers worldwide.

A copy of the Framework by authors Alison Kitson, Tiffany Conroy, Kerry Kuluski, Louise Locock and  Renee Lyons, entitled Reclaiming and redefining the Fundamentals of Care: Nursing’s response to meeting patients’ basic human needs, published by The University of Adelaide, can be found here.

The Fundamentals of Care Framework outlines three core dimensions for the delivery of high-quality fundamental care:
  1. A trusting therapeutic relationship between care recipient and care provider
  2. Integrating and meeting a persons’ physical, psychosocial and relational needs
  3. A context of care that is supportive of relationship development and care integration

Using the Fundamentals of Care Framework image: The ILC provides permission for use of the Fundamentals of Care Framework image, as displayed on this web page, for publication in journal articles, reports, conference presentations and other materials. Use of the image must be cited/referenced in the following way:

  • Image obtained from
  • Content within image derived from Feo, R., Conroy, T., Jangland. E., Muntlin Athlin, Å., Brovall, M., Parr, J., Blomberg, K., & Kitson, A. (2017). Towards a standardised definition for fundamental care: A modified Delphi study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27, 2285-2299. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14247

Altering the image in any way prior to its use and distribution must approved by the ILC by contacting ILC Support: Permission to alter the image will be granted on a case-by-case basis.


More information on the ILC Fundamentals of Care Framework and Dimensions.