Policy Briefing #8 - Patient Empowerment

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

This month’s policy briefing focuses on patient empowerment, a topic that underpins IAPO’s 2017 engagement and empowerment plan and is the theme of this year’s Patient Solidarity Day (PSD), which will take place on Saturday 2nd December 2017. The subject of patient empowerment is one that concerns all patients regardless of disease or country, and it is now widely recognised that empowering patients to be actively involved in their healthcare decisions results in better quality healthcare.

Patient empowerment also features as a core principle of the IAPO Declaration on Patient Centred-Healthcare, stating that “patients have a right and responsibility to participate, to their level of ability and preference, as a partner in making healthcare decisions that affect their lives.”

PSD 2017 will be centred on the theme: Globally Empowered Patients: Power through Knowledge, since knowledge is at the very core of what constitutes successful and effective patient empowerment. It will aim to raise awareness and strengthen the understanding of why patient empowerment is vital, and how patient knowledge is a facilitator of the process.

This briefing investigates the concept of patient empowerment, and how this concept can be translated into reality. It outlines that, by patients realising their knowledge, they can help themselves become co-partners in today’s healthcare systems.

3 key points were made:

  1. To be able to play an active role in their healthcare management, patients must realise and utilise their unique knowledge of their condition
  2. To empower themselves, good understanding of engagement opportunities is key, e.g. patient involvement in research
  3. What constitutes patient empowerment varies depending on world region


This month’s policy briefing was written by Grace Melvin (Policy Research Intern) and Antonio Ciaglia (Policy Manager). If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch via email at grace@iapo.org.uk and antonio@iapo.org.uk.  


Read the policy briefing on patient empowerment here


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