Patient Centered Assessment Method [PCAM] Online:

Bringing the social determinants of health into primary care

The PCAM has its origin in the Minnesota Complexity Assessment Method (MCAM) [1], which was developed to bring a broad range of aspects of health into patient assessments, including physical health, mental health, social support, social needs, health literacy and engagement with services. The MCAM was derived from 'INTERMED' which integrated biopsychosocial aspects of the relationship between the patient and the healthcare system which, taken together, reflect 'case complexity', and was used in secondary care [2-5]. The purpose of MCAM was to provide a practical but systematic vocabulary and action-based assessment which could be applied to a primary care setting. The MCAM has also been used to help improve interdisciplinary team work in educational settings [6].


Can I Use PCAM?


Yes. PCAM is copyrighted, and the developer team is committed to it being freely available for use. PCAM is best implemented with the support of training for clinicians, and considerations of how systems support the integration of the tool. We do ask you contact the team to inform and involve us where possible, as we strive to develop and support learning partnerships about how PCAM is used, improved and further out understanding of how it impacts patient outcomes.


PCAM Contributors


Rebekah Pratt, PhD, University of Minnesota, USA

Margaret Maxwell, PhD, University of Stirling, Scotland

Carina Hibberd, PhD University of Stirling, Scotland

Macaran Baird, MD, University of Minnesota, USA

C J Peek, PhD, University of Minnesota, USA

Stewart Mercer, MD, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Isobel Cameron, PhD, University of Glasgow, Scotland


All materials in this website (including without limitation all models, text, images, logos, etc.) are © Maxwell, Pratt, Hibberd, Baird, and Peek, 2013. The Universities of Stirling and Minnesota own the copyright to the PCAM Tool which has been developed with the permission of University of Minnesota, from the Minnesota Complexity Method (MCAM), an assessment method developed by Drs Baird, Peek and Coleman at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota and was adapted by permission from earlier work by Dr F Huyse, et al, in the Netherlands. The Universities of Stirling and Minnesota were supported in developing MECAM which is now known as PCAM for use in Scotland by funding from NHS Health Scotland. The content of this website may not be copied or shared with any third party without inclusion of this copyright declaration. There are no license costs for the use of PCAM and the developers are committed to PCAM being freely available to use.


Download the PCAM tool here


1.  Peek C, Baird MA, Coleman E: Primary care for patient complexity, not only disease. Families, Systems, & Health 2009, 27(4):287.

2.  Maxwell M, Pratt R: Prevention and management of depression in primary care in Europe: a holistic model of care and interventions--position paper of the European Forum for Primary Care. Quality in Primary Care 2008, 16(3):187.

3.  Pratt RH, Maxwell M: Professional and service-user perceptions of self-help in primary care mental health services. Health & Social Care in the Community 2009, 17:209-215.

4.  de Jonge P, Huyse FJ, Stiefel FC, Slaets JPJ, Gans FOB: INTERMED-a clinical instrument for biopsychosocial assessment. Psychosomatics 2001, 42(2):106-109.

5.  de Jonge P, Latour C, Huyse FJ: Interrater reliability of the INTERMED in a heterogeneous somatic population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2002, 52)1):25-27.

6. James TC, Westmoreland GR, Arenson CA, Counsell SR: Using a Complexity Tool with Geriatric Patients Teaches Residents Roles of Interprofessional Teams. 2012.