Patient Involvement in Health Care. Different Terms Same Concept?

Patient Involvement in Health Care. Different Terms Same Concept?

Aliki Xochelli (Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH, Thermi-Thessaloniki, Greece), Kostas Stamatopoulos (Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH, Thermi-Thessaloniki, Greece) and Christina Karamanidou (Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH, Thermi-Thessaloniki, Greece)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2019010101
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


Patient participation in health care is widely considered as crucial for the development of improved health systems and the refined management of chronic conditions. Against this background, however, there are divergent views and contradictions regarding its definition and actual content and scope. Moreover, there is no consensus as to the appropriate interventions, hence assessing their impact remains a challenge. The authors herein comment on the terms that are most commonly used for defining patient involvement in health care and underline the barriers identified in everyday clinical practice that may be responsible for failing to fully materialize its potential impact and/or endorsing it in real life.
Article Preview

Patient-Centered Care

In 1967, Balint (Balint, 1969) proposed a shift from a disease-orientated model to a patient-centered model of medicine. Concerning physicians, this entails a broader knowledge of a given patient’s status that not only includes biological data and test results but also information regarding the patient’s psychology and overall well-being. In other words, Balint has set the grounds for substituting the term ‘illness’ for the term ‘disease’ and also promoted the notion that patient care can be guided (even indirectly) by the patient and his/ her needs (Balint, 1969; Wolfe, 2001).

Evidently, this approach can be considered as the first step towards individualized management (Kitson et al., 2013) given that each patient is considered as unique, and the final decision regarding his/ her management is based on information concerning not only his/ her biological profile but also his/ her psychosocial needs (holistic approach).

In order to achieve all the above, patient-centered medicine must be based on mutual trust, understanding and smooth communication between patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals (Ridd et al., 2009), thus leading to a valuable exchange of information. Concerning patients, patient-centered medicine does not axiomatically translate to patients who are active and willing to participate in their management. Patients may ask for a holistic approach but may not want to take responsibility and/ or participate in decisions regarding their treatment. Therefore, the final call regarding their management will be a choice made by their physician.

Moreover, it should be noted that some patients disagree and feel uncomfortable with discussing, with their physician, aspects of their life that seem irrelevant to the symptoms and signs that correlate with their disease such as psychosocial issues (Bensing, 2000).

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Open Access Articles
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2022): Forthcoming, Available for Pre-Order
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2021): 2 Released, 2 Forthcoming
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2020)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2019)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2012)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing