Patient empowerment, patient participation and patient-centeredness in hospital care: A concept analysis based on a literature review

Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Dec;99(12):1923-1939. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.07.026. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


Objectives: The concepts of patient empowerment, patient participation and patient-centeredness have been introduced as part of the trend towards a more participatory health care and have largely been used interchangeably. Although these concepts have been discussed for a number of years, their exact meaning in hospital care remains somewhat unclear. This absence of theoretical and conceptual clarity has led to (1) poor understanding and communication among researchers, health practitioners and policy makers and (2) problems in measurement and comparison between studies across different hospitals.

Methods: This paper examines all three concepts through a concept analysis based on the method of Avant and Walker (2005) [1] and the simultaneous concept analysis of Haase et al. (1992) [2].

Results: Through these methods, the antecedents, attributes, consequences and empirical referents of each concept are determined. In addition, similarities and differences between the three concepts are identified and a definition offered for each concept. Furthermore, the interrelatedness between the key concepts is mapped, and definitions are proposed.

Conclusions: It can be concluded that patient empowerment is a much broader concept than just patient participation and patient-centeredness.

Practice implications: The present study may provide a useful framework that researchers, policy makers and health care providers can use to facilitate patient empowerment.

Keywords: Concept analysis; Patient empowerment; Patient participation; Patient-centeredness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*