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Contrasting patient and professional views of empowerment

Contrasting patient and professional views of empowerment

Asimakopoulou, K., Scambler, S. and Newton, Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-8525-6763 (2009) Contrasting patient and professional views of empowerment. Diabetic Medicine, 26 (Supp 1). p. 125. ISSN 0742-3071 (doi:

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Background: A common assumption of models of empowerment is
that professionals bring clinical and bio-medical expertise – whereas the patient brings their ‘lay’ expertise of managing the illness to the ‘medical encounter’ – helping patients make informed decisions and
overcome barriers to their health goals. Here it is argued that this approach is inadequately descriptive of how empowerment approaches are actually perceived and engaged with by patients and professionals.
Methods: The research adopted a multi-methodological qualitative approach (interviews, questionnaires and focus groups) to interview 37 patient respondents recruited from a local Diabetes Patient Participation Group who explored their experiences of managing Type 2 diabetes. Ten further interviews were conducted with diabetes professionals in local PCTs to provide context to the patient interviews.
Findings: Professionals viewed empowerment as a rejection of the paternalistic approach to healthcare. However, whereas some saw the approach as improving the patient experience of services, others saw empowerment as a process of social justice. Further themes related to the expedient use of resources; methods of representation; balancing clinical aims against quality of life. Patients viewed
empowerment in relation to their self-care tasks; its relationship to managing perceived risks; contribution to improving their quality of life; and appropriate use of resource.
Conclusions: It is argued that while empowerment is popular with both groups, the approach is construed and utilised differently and in ways which, in some cases , may exacerbate barriers to access and inequalities in health.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Special Issue: Abstracts of Diabetes UK's Annual Professional Conference 2009, 11-13 March 2009, SECC, Glasgow, UK
Uncontrolled Keywords: empowerment, diabetes, healthcare delivery, clinical care
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Centre for Nursing & Healthcare Research
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:15

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