Empowerment as treatment and the role of health professionals

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. Jul-Sep 2003;26(3):227-37. doi: 10.1097/00012272-200307000-00007.


This article argues that the concept of empowerment has been co-opted by health professionals and redefined as an intervention to produce compliance. Patients are considered empowered by health professionals only if they make the correct choices as defined by the health care provider. Patients are not informed about all possible choices and are not free to make their own choices for their own reasons. Empowerment is a coercive strategy that is justified by its outcomes and creates dependent populations.

MeSH terms

  • Coercion
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • United States