Table 2

Key definitions

Word/phraseDefinition
Strengths-based language
  • Opposite of a deficit approach; emphasizing what people know and what they can do (7).

  • Focusing on strengths that can empower people to take more control over their own health and healing (103).

  • Example: Lee takes her insulin 50% of the time because of cost concerns (instead of Lee is noncompliant/nonadherent).

Person-first language
  • Words that indicate awareness, a sense of dignity, and positive attitudes toward people with a disability/disease. Places emphasis on the person, rather than the disability/disease (88).

  • Example: Lee has diabetes (instead of Lee is a diabetic).