Assessing enablement in clinical practice: a systematic review of available instruments

J Eval Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;16(6):1301-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2009.01332.x. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


Rationale, aims and objectives: Enablement is an intervention by which the health care provider recognizes, promotes and enhances patients' ability to control their health and life. An abundant health literature suggests that enablement is associated with good outcomes. In this review, we aimed at identifying and comparing instruments that assess enablement in the health care context.

Method: We conducted a systematic literature review using Medline, Embase, Cochrane, Cinahl and PsycINFO databases, 1980 through March 2009, with specific search strategy for each database. Citations were included if they reported: (1) development and/or validation of an instrument; (2) evaluation of enablement in a health care context; and (3) quantitative results following administration of the instrument. The quality of each main retained citation was assessed using a modified version of the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy.

Results: Of 3135 citations identified, 53 were retrieved for detailed evaluation. Four articles were included. Two instruments were found: the Patient Empowerment Scale (PES) and the Empowering Speech Practices Scale (ESPS). Both instruments assessed enablement in hospital setting, one from the inpatient's perspective (PES) and the other from both perspectives (ESPS).

Conclusion: Two instruments assess enablement in hospital setting. No instrument is currently available to assess enablement in an ambulatory care context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Self Efficacy*