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Patient Empowerment

  • By: Stacey A. Passalacqua
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Patient empowerment is both a process and an outcome increasingly recognized for its potential to improve health and quality of life, especially among those with chronic illnesses. The management of chronic illness is primarily dependent on the patient, creating a context in which patients must be active agents in their care if they are to successfully maintain their health. Patients are most likely to implement and sustain needed changes if they act in response to internal rather than external motivation; patient empowerment centers around patients' own goals and autonomous choices. There are various methods of facilitating active engagement, but a significant challenge exists when it comes to garnering support from providers for this ideology. Providers accustomed to traditional models of medicine will need to ...

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