The International Journal of Whole Person Care

Managing editor(s): Angelica Todireanu / Editor(s): Timothy H. Wideman (Editor-in-Chief), Steven Jordan (Associate Editor), Tom Hutchinson, Mark Smilovitch, Stephen Liben, Satoru Tsuneto, Cory Ingram, Elizabeth A. Rider, Hamish Wilson


Traditionally, the existential and spiritual aspects of illness and their relationship to healthcare outcomes have received limited attention within the educational and research environment of Western medicine. In recognition of this fact, the McGill University Programs in Whole Person Care were instituted in 1999 by the Faculty of Medicine. The Programs are based on the premise that in situations in which treatment is unable to modify the disease outcome, it may be possible to create a space in which healing can occur. While the existential/spiritual domain is known to be an important determinant of quality of life, there has been little emphasis on integration of these issues in healthcare systems. Programs in Whole Person Care therefore seek to integrate the physical aspects of personhood along with the psychological, cultural, social and existential/spiritual ones, and to respond to suffering experienced by the whole person within his or her particular context.

The International Journal of Whole Person Care is published by McGill Programs in Whole Person Care and aims to serve as a scholarly forum for how we approach health care, with an emphasis on the existential/spiritual aspects of health research and practice. The journal is interested in scholarly work that addresses the intersection between personhood, health and suffering as well as approaches that facilitate congruence between patients, practitioners and their environments.

This Journal will showcase the efforts of healthcare professionals and their patients, researchers and others working on these issues from a transdisciplinary perspective around the world with the aim to treat the person holistically with dignity and compassion. It will also encompass the whole person of the practitioner based on the postulate that well professionals foster well-being in those they serve.


Contact Address

3640 University Street, Montreal, QC  H3A 0C7

Principal Contact

Angelica Todireanu
Managing Editor
Programs in Whole Person Care
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University


Back issues (8 issues)

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Editorial policy and ethics

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.Please visit the McGill University Library website for more information about Open Access initiatives at McGill.

Peer Review Process

Papers submitted to the Theoretical, Empirical Studies and Case Studies/Narratives sections of the journal will be subject to a double-blind review process. Authors are requested to submit the names of 4 potential reviewers. Those submitted to the Commentary section will be reviewed by Editors.

This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process.  

To facilitate this, authors need to ensure that their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not give away their identity. 

Information to help prepare the Blinded Manuscript

Besides the obvious need to remove names and affiliations under the title within the manuscript, there are other steps that need to be taken to ensure the manuscript is correctly prepared for double-blind peer review.  To assist with this process the key items that need to be observed are as follows:

  • Use the third person to refer to work the Authors have previously undertaken, e.g. replace any phrases like “as we have shown before” with “… has been shown before [Anonymous, 2007]” .
  • Make sure figures do not contain any affiliation related identifier
  • Do not eliminate essential self-references or other references but limit self-references only to papers that are relevant for those reviewing the submitted paper.
  • Cite papers published by the Author in the text as follows:  ‘[Anonymous, 2007]’.
  • For blinding in the reference list:  ‘[Anonymous 2007] Details omitted for double-blind reviewing.’
  • Remove references to funding sources
  • Do not include acknowledgments
  • Remove any identifying information, including author names, from file names and ensure document properties are also anonymized

Copyright Notice 

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Creative Comons 4.0 CC-BY

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The following publications ethics and publication malpractice statement is based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. 

Duties and Responsibilities of Editors

Publication Decisions 

Editors are responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published. Editors will evaluate manuscripts without regard to the author’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, political philosophy, or institutional affiliation. Publication decisions will be based on the manuscript’s importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the journal’s scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism will also be considered. 


Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. 

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used by editors for their own research purposes without the author’s explicit written consent. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with any of the authors or institutions connected to the submission. 

Duties and Responsibilities of Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions

Peer review assists the editors in making publication decisions and, through editorial communications with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript. 


Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible will immediately notify the editors and withdraw from the review process. 


Manuscripts received for review will be treated as confidential documents. They will not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editors. 

Standards of Objectivity

Reviews will be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. 

Acknowledgment of Sources

Reviewers will identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. They will point out whether observations or arguments derived from other publications are accompanied by acknowledgments of the respective sources. Reviewers will notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other material (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge. 

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used by reviewers for their own research purposes without the author’s explicit written consent. Reviewers will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with any of the authors or institutions connected to the submission. 

Duties and Responsibilities of Authors

Originality, Plagiarism, and Acknowledgment of Sources

Authors will submit only entirely original works and will appropriately cite the work of others. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. 

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication or Submission

Authors should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Manuscripts that have been published elsewhere cannot be submitted. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. 

Authorship of the Manuscript

All those who have made a significant contribution to the submitted manuscript should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author will ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no uninvolved persons are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. 

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Authors should include a statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might be construed as having influenced their manuscript’s results or interpretation. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. 

Fundamental Errors in Published Works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published article, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editors or publisher and to cooperate with editors to retract or correct the article in the form of an erratum. 

Information for contributors

Author Guidelines

IJWPC is an open access journal that aims to provide rapid publication of research across a range of disciplines and therapeutic areas, to be published two times per year (January/February and June/July). Submissions should be made through our online submission system. All submissions must be in English. Articles should not be under review, or submitted for review, with any other journal when submitted to IJWPC.

Submission Types

Theoretical papers:

Topics related to whole person care may be presented as a review or theoretical paper no longer than 5,000 words. For example, one may review the literature pertaining to multidisciplinary palliative care for children with terminal illnesses. Or, one may examine the rational for integrative medicine in oncology.

Empirical studies:

Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies should be described according to the standards of their respective methodologies. Interventions that have been subjected to evaluations are welcomed in this section; these may include randomized clinical trials, cohort studies or other forms of evaluation (e.g., participatory evaluations). The manuscript should include an Introduction, Methods, Data Analyses, Results and Discussion sections and should be no longer than 8,000 words.


This type of manuscript allows for reflection on one’s experiences within the health care system, be it as a provider or recipient of care. The style chosen is left open (e.g., prose, poetry, photo voice) so as to encourage creativity in sharing experiences. Manuscripts should be no longer than 1,000 words. If visual media is to be used (e.g. video), these should be no longer than 5 minutes.

Case studies/Narratives:

Compelling stories of experiences that health care professionals, patients, or family members have had are welcome in this section. If a case study, the patient’s identity should not be evident and the code of professional confidentiality needs to be respected. The manuscript should be no longer than 2,000 words.

The Clinician's Art:

This section is for reflective pieces on artful practices of care in the broadest healthcare contexts (i.e. physicianship, nursing, dentistry, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, counselling, social work, etc.). Its aim is to elicit submissions that challenge and question accepted theories, practices, and boundaries of contemporary clinical practice and its teaching that are informed by interdisciplinary approaches. Manuscripts should be no longer than 5,000.


This section is only for authors who wish to submit abstracts, posters, etc. for the Congress on Whole Person Care. Authors who are selected to present at the Congress will have their abstracts, posters, etc. included in a special issue of IJWPC.


Authors are strongly urged to insert metadata in full when prompted during the online submission process. Authors should also include up to five keywords or phrases suitable for use in an index (it is recommended to use MeSH terms). 

Manuscript format: The manuscript must be submitted in Word. PDF format is not accepted.The manuscript must be presented in the following order:

1. Abstract (or summary for case reports) (note: references not allowed in abstracts or summaries).

2. Main text (provide appropriate headings and subheadings as in the journal. We use the following hierarchy: BOLD CAPS, bold lower case, Plain text, Italics).

3. Tables should be in the same format as your article (i.e. Word) and not another format embedded into the document. They should be placed where the table is cited and they must be cited in the main text in numerical order.

4. Acknowledgments, Competing interests, Funding.

5. Reference list.

Appendices. Images must be uploaded as separate files (view further details in Figures/illustrations) All images must be cited within the main text in numerical order.Do not use the automatic formatting features of your word processor such as endnotes, footnotes, headers, footers, boxes etc. Please remove any hidden text.StyleAbbreviations and symbols must be standard. Acronyms should be used sparingly and fully explained when first used.

Please follow "Vancouver style" formatting guidelines.


Resolution requirements apply (9cm across for single column, 18cm for double column):

1. For B/W, the format should be either TIFF or EPS. The resolution should be in 300 DPI.

2. For 4-colour, the format should be either tiff or eps in CMYK. The resolution should be 300 DPI.

3. For line-art, vector format is preferable. Otherwise, the resolution should be 1200 DPI.

During submission, when you upload the figure files label them with the correct File Designation.

Histograms should be presented in a simple, two-dimensional format, with no background grid.

Figures are checked using automated quality control and if they are below standard you will be alerted and provided with suggestions in order to improve the quality.

All images should be mentioned in the text in numerical order and figure legends should be listed at the end of the manuscript. Please ensure that any specific patient/hospital details are removed or blacked out.

Using material already published elsewhere: If you are using any figures, tables or videos that have already been published elsewhere you must obtain permission from the rights holder (this is usually the publisher and not the author) to use them and add any required permission statements to the legends.


Tables should be submitted in the same format as your article (Word) and not another format embedded into the document. They should appear where the table should be cited, cited in the main text and in numerical order.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of cited references: these should be checked against the original documents before the paper is submitted. It is vital that the references are styled correctly so that they may be hyperlinked.

Citing in the text:

References must be numbered sequentially as they appear in the text. References cited in figures or tables (or in their legends and footnotes) should be numbered according to the place in the text where that table or figure is first cited.

Reference numbers in the text must be inserted immediately after punctuation (with no word spacing).Where more than one reference is cited, separate by a comma—for example, [1, 4, 39]. For sequences of consecutive numbers, give the first and last number of the sequence separated by a hyphen—for example, [22-25].

References provided in this format are translated during the production process to superscript type, which act as hyperlinks from the text to the quoted references in electronic forms of the article.

Please note, if your references are not cited in order your article will be returned to you before acceptance for correct ordering.

Preparing the reference list:

References must be double spaced (numbered consecutively in the order in which they are mentioned in the text) in the [slightly modified] Vancouver style (see example below).

Only papers published or in press should be included in the reference list. (Personal communications or unpublished data must be cited in parentheses in the text with the name(s) of the source(s) and the year. Authors should get permission from the source to cite unpublished data.).

References must follow the [slightly modified] Vancouver style:12 Surname AB, Surname CD. Article title. Journal abbreviation Year; Vol: Start page–End page.

Use one space only between words up to the year and then no spaces. The journal title should be in italic and abbreviated according to the style of Medline. If the journal is not listed in Medline then it should be written out in full.

Check journal abbreviations using PubMed.

List the names and initials of all authors if there are 3 or fewer; otherwise list the first 3 and add et al. (The exception is the Journal of Medical Genetics, which lists all authors.)

Example references:

Journal article

Koziol-Mclain J, Brand D, Morgan D, et al. Measuring injury risk factors: question reliability in a statewide sample. Inj Prev 2000;6:148–50.

Chapter in book

Nagin D. General deterrence: a review of the empirical evidence. In: Blumstein A, Cohen J, Nagin D, eds. Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences 1978:95–139.


Howland J. Preventing Automobile Injury: New Findings From Evaluative Research. Dover, MA: Auburn House Publishing Company 1988:163–96.


Roxburgh J, Cooke RA, Deverall P, et al. Haemodynamic function of the carbomedics bileaflet prosthesis [abstract]. Br Heart J 1995;73(Suppl 2):P37.

Electronic citations

Websites are referenced with their URL and access date, and as much other information as is available. Access date is important as websites can be updated and URLs change. The "date accessed" can be later than the acceptance date of the paper, and it can be just the month accessed. See the 9th edition of the AMA Manual of Style for further examples.

Electronic journal articles

Morse SS. Factors in the emergency of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 1995 Jan-Mar;1(1). (accessed 5 Jun 1998).

Electronic letters

Bloggs J. Title of letter. Journal name Online [eLetter] Date of publication. urleg: Krishnamoorthy KM, Dash PK. Novel approach to transseptal puncture. Heart Online [eLetter] 18 September 2001.

How to cite articles before they have appeared in print

1. Alwick K, Vronken M, de Mos T, et al. Cardiac risk factors: prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis Published Online First: 5 February 2004. doi:10.1136/ard.2003.001234

How to cite articles once they have appeared in print

1. Vole P, Smith H, Brown N, et al. Treatments for malaria: randomised controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis 2003;327:765–8 doi:10.1136/ard.2003.001234 [published Online First: 5 February 2002.



Editorial board


Timothy H. Wideman
School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Associate Editor

Steven Jordan
Faculty of Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Managing Editor

Angelica Todireanu
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Editorial Board

Tom Hutchinson
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mark Smilovitch
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Stephen Liben
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Satoru Tsuneto
Department of Multidisciplinary Cancer Treatment
Kyoto University, Japan

Cory Ingram
Mayo Clinic, United States

Elizabeth A. Rider
Harvard Medical School, United States

Hamish Wilson
Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand