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A Step-By-Step Method To Employ The Power Of Patient Activation

November 04, 2016

A Step-By-Step Method To Employ The Power Of Patient Activation

An article in HuffPost Living - Canada from Dr. James Aw at Medcan, a wellness clinic in Toronto, describes an approach to improving activation in patients:  

One of the buzzwords in the medical profession is something called “patient activation.” That’s the challenge of enlisting regular people in health maintenance. To state it more plainly, it’s all about trying to get people interested in saving their own lives.  

How to get these patients to save their own lives?  

Step One: Find a reason to pursue a long and active life. It could be nearly anything—so long as it’s specific.  

Step Two: Behavioural change is all about rituals. So the next step involves linking the purpose you established in step one with a ritual that will help you achieve it.  

Step Three: Build some sort of accountability that rewards you for maintaining your ritual—or discourages you from breaking it.  

If patient activation is the next century’s blockbuster drug, then you’ve already started your prescription.  

Putting all three steps together, the activation process involves something like this:
1. Purpose: “I want to be able to dance at my granddaughter’s wedding…”
2. Ritual: “…so I’m quitting jujubes and going for a walk when I feel cravings…”
3. Accountability / Reward: “…and when I’ve gone for 20 walks in a month I’ll indulge in a new pair of walking shoes.”  

Read the full article.