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Table 3 Most frequently cited definitions of patient empowerment

From: Conceptualising patient empowerment: a mixed methods study

Author Definition Cited by %
Funnell et al. “We have defined the process of empowerment as the discovery and development of one’s inherent capacity to be responsible for one’s own life. People are empowered when they have sufficient knowledge to make rationale decisions, sufficient control and resources to implement their decisions, and sufficient experience to evaluate the effectiveness of their decisions. Empowerment is more than an intervention or strategy to help people make behaviour changes to adhere to a treatment plan. Fundamentally, patient empowerment is an outcome. Patients are empowered when they have knowledge, skills, attitudes, and self-awareness necessary to influence their own behaviour and that of others in order to improve the quality of their lives”(Funnell et al., 1991). “Empowerment is a patient-centered, collaborative approach tailored to match the fundamental realities of diabetes care. Patient empowerment is defined as helping patients discover and develop the inherent capacity to be responsible for one's own life” (Funnell & Anderson, 2004) 11 %
Aujoulat et al. “Empowerment may be defined as a complex experience of personal change. It is guided by the principle of self-determination and may be facilitated by health-care providers if they adopt a patient-centred approach of care which acknowledges the patients’ experience, priorities and fears. In order to be empowering for the patient, therapeutic education activities need to be based on self-reflection, experimentation, and negotiation so as to allow for the appropriation of medical knowledge and the reinforcement of psychosocial skills”. (Aujoulat, d’Hoore, & Deccache, 2007) 6 %
Anderson et al. “… The empowerment approach as a method for helping patients select and make changes in their diabetes self-management. This approach is based on the principles of counselling, and educational psychology, nursing and behavioural theory, and the reality of day-to-day management of a chronic disease such as diabetes”(Anderson & Funnell, 2002). “The empowerment process is regarded as an individual’s discovery (and development) of their inborn capacity to control and take responsibility for their live”(Anderson & Funnell, 2005). “Patient empowerment is a process designed to facilitate self-directed behavior change…The empowerment approach involves facilitating and supporting patients to reflect on their experience of living with diabetes. Self-reflection occurring in a relationship characterized by psychological safety, warmth, collaboration, and respect is essential for laying the foundation for self-directed positive change in behavior, emotions, and/or attitudes”(Anderson & Funnell, 2010) 6 %
Lau “Patient empowerment in the health care context means to promote autonomous self-regulation so that the individual’s potential for health and wellness is maximised. Patient empowerment begins with information and education and includes seeking out information about one’s own illness or condition, and actively participating in treatment decisions”(Lau, 2002) 5 %
Gibson “Empowerment is a social process of recognizing, promoting and enhancing people’s abilities to meet their own needs, solve their own problems and mobilize the necessary resources in order to feel in control of their own lives. Even more simply defined, empowerment is a process of helping people to assert control over the factors which affect their health”(Gibson, 1991) 5 %