Response to a patient activation intervention among Spanish-speaking patients at a community health center in New York City

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 May;25(2):591-604. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2014.0110.


Patient activation describes an individual's readiness to participate in their health care. Lower levels of activation that may contribute to poor health outcomes have been documented in Latino patients. We administered a brief activating intervention directed at Spanish-speakers that sought to improve and encourage question-asking during a medical visit. We used quantitative measures of patient attitudes supplemented with open-ended questions to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention at a community health center. Post-intervention changes in the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) and Decision Self-Efficacy (DSE) were measured. Both control and intervention group PAM scores changed significantly, but for those at lower levels of activation, only the intervention group showed significant gains. For the DSE the intervention group showed significant changes in scores. These findings, which are supported by the qualitative data, suggest that the intervention helped patients who may have difficulty asking questions during medical visits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires