Patients as partners: A qualitative study of patients’ engagement in their health care
Pomey, M-P., Ghadiri, DP., Karazivan, P., Fernandez, N., Clavel, N. (2015). «Patients as partners: A qualitative study of patients’ engagement in their health care», PLoS One ;10(4):e0122499
Sacha D. P. Ghadiri
To advocate for patients to be more actively involved with the healthcare services they receive, particularly patients living with chronic illness, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal and its affiliated hospitals developed the Patients as Partners concept where the patient is considered a full-fledged partner of the health care delivery team and the patient’s experiential knowledge is recognized. This study aims to show how patients view their engagement with healthcare professionals regarding their direct care. Using theoretical sampling, 16 semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients with chronic illness who were familiar with the concept of Patients as Partners. Data analysis followed a constructivist grounded theory approach. Patients describe themselves as proactively engaging in three types of practice, regardless of health professionals’ openness to their role as partners. The first is a process of continuous learning that allows them to acquire experiential knowledge about their health, as well as scientific information and technical know-how. The second involves their assessment of the healthcare they receive, in terms of its quality and how it aligns with their personal preferences. It includes their assessment of the quality of their relationship with the health professional and of the latter’s scientific knowledge and technical know-how. The third type, adaptation practices, builds on patients’ learning and assessments to compensate for and adapt to what has been perceived as optimal or non-optimal health or healthcare circumstances. Patients appear to play a more active and less docile role in their own direct care than suggested so far in the literature, regardless of the degree of reciprocity of the partnership or the degree to which the health professional seeks to encourage patient engagement.
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