Patient empowerment: reflections on the challenge of fostering the adoption of a new paradigm

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 May;57(2):153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.05.008.


Diabetes is a self-managed illness in which the decisions most affecting the health and well being of patients are made by the patients themselves. Many of these decisions involve routine activities of daily living (e.g., nutrition, physical activity). Effective diabetes care requires patients and health care professionals to collaborate in the development of self-management plans that integrate the clinical expertise of health care professionals with the concerns, priorities and resources of the patient. Collaborative diabetes care requires a new "empowerment" paradigm that involves a fundamental redefinition of roles and relationships of health care professionals and patients. The challenges of fostering the adoption of a new paradigm differ substantially from those associated with the introduction of new technology. Those challenges are discussed in this paper.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Authoritarianism
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Disease Management
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation* / methods
  • Patient Participation* / psychology
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • Philosophy, Medical*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Self Care* / methods
  • Self Care* / psychology
  • Social Responsibility