Getting Patients to Take Charge of Their Health

January 12, 2012

Getting Patients to Take Charge of Their Health

By taking an active role in their care, patients could be healthier, clinicians would feel more gratified, and even health care costs would decrease, as there would presumably be less need for additional services outside the doctor’s office.  

But like everything in medicine, carrying out this “cure” takes work, as an interesting collaboration between researchers and a nonprofit healthcare system is revealing.  

For almost two years, Fairview Health Services, with more than 40 primary-care clinics in the Minneapolis area, has been giving patients a survey developed by researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene to measure how actively involved they are in their care.  Known as the Patient Activation Measure, the survey includes just 13 questions and takes only a few minutes to complete.  

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