Patient empowerment refers to the individual patient, who can be facilitated and stimulated in various ways to take up an active role in the process of care delivery and management. This form of patient empowerment is very much present in self-management and shared decision making.
Patient empowerment also refers to a collective level, to have patients make a contribution to the delivery of high quality of care. Examples are involving patients in prioritising themes for medical scientific research, participation of patients in the development of guidelines and indicators and in making quality of care transparent to support provider choice. .
Research on patient empowerment within IQ healthcare is mainly, though not exclusively, focused on the individual patient. Numerous successful RCT's have been performed on topics such as self-management, frail elderly and shared decision making. Expertise gained from these successful projects on effective interventions and implementation strategies for patient empowerment will benefit future research. Central research themes are:
- Valid and reliable measuring instruments and indicators
- Effectiveness of interventions
- Successful implementation strategies
- Preconditions for successful patient participation in quality improvement
Dr. Marjan Faber is head of research on patient empowerment within IQ healthcare.