1.3 Analyse how models of communication can meet the individual’s personal needs, wishes and preferences

1.3 Analyse how models of communication can meet the individual’s personal needs, wishes and preferences

Advanced Communication Skills

Care Learning

5 mins READ

This guide will help you answer the RQF Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care Unit 1.3 Analyse how models of communication can meet the individual’s personal needs, wishes and preferences.

In health and social care, understanding and utilising various models of communication is pivotal in meeting an individual’s personal needs, wishes, and preferences.

Effective communication involves more than just the exchange of information; it encompasses the understanding, interpretation, and application of that information to support personalised care.

Here is a detailed analysis of how models of communication can meet an individual’s personal needs, wishes, and preferences:

Person-Centred Communication Model

The person-centred model places the individual at the core of all interactions, ensuring that communication is tailored to understand and respect their personal needs, wishes, and preferences.

Meeting Personal Needs: By engaging actively and empathetically with the individual, carers can gain intricate insights into their physical, emotional, and psychological requirements. This model encourages open dialogue, where the individual feels valued and heard, thus enabling the identification of specific needs.

Wishes and Preferences: This model promotes the individual’s autonomy by actively involving them in decision-making processes. By asking open-ended questions and listening attentively, carers can discern and honour the individual’s specific wishes and preferences, ensuring that care delivery aligns with their personal desires.

Transactional Analysis Model

Transactional Analysis (TA) focuses on the interactions (transactions) between individuals, considering their social and psychological contexts.

Meeting Personal Needs: TA helps carers to recognise and analyse communication patterns that influence an individual’s feelings and behaviours. For instance, identifying ego states—Parent, Adult, and Child—can help in understanding how best to approach communication to meet the individual’s psychological needs more effectively.

Wishes and Preferences: By facilitating a deeper understanding of how individuals perceive and respond to communication, TA allows carers to adapt their communication strategies to align with the individual’s preferences. This might involve adjusting tone, language, and body language to create a more comfortable and conducive environment for the individual.

Humanistic Model

The humanistic approach, inspired by theorists like Carl Rogers, emphasises empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence in communication.

Meeting Personal Needs: By prioritising empathy and genuine understanding, this model ensures that carers can accurately identify and meet the personal needs of individuals. Creating a trusting and safe space encourages individuals to express their needs openly, which is critical for delivering tailored care.

Wishes and Preferences: The humanistic model’s focus on treating individuals with warmth and respect ensures that their wishes and preferences are consistently considered. Through active listening and validating individuals’ feelings, carers can ensure that their care strategies are in line with what the individual values and desires.

Behavioural Model

The behavioural model involves understanding and modifying observable behaviours through communication.

Meeting Personal Needs: This model is particularly effective in scenarios where individuals may have difficulty articulating their needs. By observing non-verbal cues and behavioural patterns, carers can infer underlying needs. For example, restlessness or aggression might indicate discomfort or unmet needs for attention or stimulation.

Wishes and Preferences: Behavioural analysis helps in tailoring communication to suit the preferred interaction style of the individual. For example, using positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviours respects the individual’s preferences for interaction, making care more aligned with their personal likes and dislikes.

Biopsychosocial Model

The biopsychosocial model considers the biological, psychological, and social factors impacting an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Meeting Personal Needs: This holistic approach ensures that communication takes into account all facets of an individual’s life, providing a comprehensive understanding of their needs. By discussing aspects like physical health, mental wellbeing, and social circumstances, carers can develop a nuanced approach to meeting personal needs.

Wishes and Preferences: Understanding the interplay of biopsychosocial factors enables carers to appreciate and incorporate the full spectrum of an individual’s wishes and preferences. For example, the model can reveal social preferences and psychological needs that might otherwise be overlooked in a purely medical or psychological model.

Examples Answers for Unit 1.3 Analyse how models of communication can meet the individual’s personal needs, wishes and preferences

You will have many opportunities to apply various communication models to meet the individual needs, wishes, and preferences of those in your care.

Here are some examples of how you might respond to questions or scenarios using these different models:

Person-Centred Communication Model

Scenario: A resident, Mrs. Thompson, is reluctant to participate in a scheduled group activity.

Example Answer: “Good afternoon, Mrs. Thompson. I’ve noticed you seem a bit hesitant about joining the group activity today. Is there something specific that’s on your mind or that you’re uncomfortable with? Your participation is important, but I also want to ensure you’re comfortable. Maybe we can find an alternative activity that you would enjoy more, or perhaps a different setting would make you feel more at ease?”

Transactional Analysis Model

Scenario: Mr. Davis often reacts defensively when asked about his daily routine.

Example Answer: “Hello, Mr. Davis. I’ve noticed that you sometimes feel upset when we talk about your daily activities. Can we discuss the best way for us to communicate about this? I want to make sure I respect your feelings. It might help if we both use our ‘Adult’ voices during these conversations. I’m here to support you, and I want to understand how we can make these discussions more comfortable for you.”

Humanistic Model

Scenario: Ms. Laura seems withdrawn and hasn’t spoken much about her feelings recently.

Example Answer: “Hi, Ms. Laura. You’ve been on my mind lately because you seem a bit quieter than usual. I want you to know that I genuinely care about how you’re feeling, and I’m here to listen whenever you’re ready to talk. Your feelings and thoughts matter a lot, and we can go at your pace, whenever you feel comfortable. Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to share right now?”

Behavioural Model

Scenario: Peter, a client with dementia, has begun pacing around the facility more frequently.

Example Answer: “Hello, Peter. I see you like to walk around a lot. It seems to me that you might be looking for something or perhaps you have some energy that needs channeling. How about we take a walk together outside in the garden? It might be a more enjoyable and safe way for you to move around, and I’d love to keep you company.”

Biopsychosocial Model

Scenario: Jane, a new resident, is struggling to adapt to the care home environment after a recent move due to health issues.

Example Answer: “Hi Jane, I understand that adjusting to a new environment can be very stressful, especially with all the changes you’ve been through recently. Let’s talk about how you’re feeling. How is your arthritis affecting you today? Are you finding it difficult to socialise with others here? We can look into some activities that involve less physical exertion if that would be more comfortable for you. Also, do you have any favourite hobbies or routines from home that we can try to incorporate into your daily schedule here to make you feel more at home?”

These examples demonstrate how different communication models can be employed in real-life situations to address an individual’s personal needs, wishes, and preferences effectively. Utilising these approaches will ensure that your communication is empathetic, respectful, and tailored to each individual, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being and quality of care.


Efficiently meeting an individual’s personal needs, wishes, and preferences hinges on the ability to select and apply appropriate communication models tailored to the individual’s unique circumstances. By employing models like the Person-Centred, Transactional Analysis, Humanistic, Behavioural, and Biopsychosocial approaches, health and social care professionals can foster effective, empathetic, and holistic communication. This not only ensures high standards of care but also enhances the individual’s overall experience and satisfaction within the care environment.

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