Patient activation

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Patient activation is defined as “an individual’s knowledge, skill, and confidence for managing their health and health care” (The King's Fund, May 2014). The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) has been developed by Insignia Health specifically to assess this. A licence is required to use it.

There is good evidence that a person’s level of activation as measured by PAM predicts health service use, and that their activation level can be changed, leading to better health self-management (The King's Fund). PAM can identify a group of people who can be helped to increase their levels of activation, to improve self-management, reduce service use and so save money for the NHS and others. If PAM licenses are not available, measures of health self-efficacy can help to indicate levels of activation. Those from Stanford University are freely available (see link 3 below).

If GPs and other clinicians have access to PAM levels/information about health self-efficacy, they can use it to influence their assessments and promote greater collaboration when discussing and agreeing care plans. It can also help with motivational interviewing. It might be presented electronically, sot that the information appears on the clinician’s computer desk top when referring to someone’s health record.

Further Reading

  1. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/supporting-people-manage-health-patient-activation-may14.pdf http://www.insigniahealth.com/products/pam-survey
  2. http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/activate-next-level-patient-engagement
  3. http://patienteducation.stanford.edu/research/