Objective: To evaluate the impact of a patient activation intervention (PAI) focused on building question formulation skills that was delivered to patients in community health centers prior to their physician visit.
Methods: Level of patient activation and patient preferred role were examined using the patient activation measure (PAM) and the patient preference for control (PPC) measure.
Results: More of the 252 patients evaluated were at lower levels of activation (PAM levels 1 or 2) than U.S. population norms before the intervention. Paired-samples t-test revealed a statistically significant increase from pre-intervention to post-visit PAM scores. One-third of participants moved from lower levels of activation to higher levels (PAM levels 3 or 4) post-intervention. Patients preferring a more passive role had lower initial PAM scores and greater increases in their post-intervention PAM scores than did those who preferred a more active role.
Conclusion: Patients exposed to the PAI demonstrated significant improvement on a measure of activation. The PAI may be useful in helping patients prepare for more effective encounters with their physicians.
Practice implications: The PAI was feasible to deliver in the health center setting and may be a useful method for activating low-income, racial/ethnic minority patient populations.
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