ICIC 2014 Review: Patient Empowerment

Session P5-B – Empowering people through integrated care – patient empowerment

The session offered delegates an opportunity to take part to an open discussion on patient empowerment and share their views and knowledge on the matter with the high level panellist representing stakeholders of all categories: Institutions, patient organizations, academia, health professionals and EC experts.

The session was deliberately organized to be as interactive as possible. Two presentations were given as introductions of all the work carried out in the EIP AHA by experts engaged in the initiative, followed by 5 panellists giving answers to three specific questions starting from their different perspectives.

The questions were:

  • What are the approaches to activate and empower the individual and communities at different levels of the systems?
  • How do you go about the deployment of strategies to empower individuals and communities in practice?
  • What are the results and the lessons learned from experience?

The outcome of the session were very interesting and challenging and can be summarized in the following:

  • Patient empowerment is mainly a cultural problem that relates to both patients and professionals;
  • Training professionals is fundamental to achieve results in the patient empowerment processes
  • Involvement of communities make a difference in pushing forward the cultural change
  • Patient empowerment processes are effective as long as they are tailored to an individual patient’s needs
  • Change the paradigm on “patient centred care”: Patient not at the centre of care but a member of the “care team”, responsible of his/her own choices
  • Direct involvement of patients/citizens in the ongoing process of finding common understanding in order to inform the “toolkit” for scaling up patient empowerment throughout European regions