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Marrying contradictions: Healthcare professionals perceptions of empowerment in the care of people with Type 2 Diabetes

By Paul Newton, Sasha Scambler and Koula Asimakopoulou


Objective: The aim of the study was to establish how healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) perceive patient-empowerment. We aimed to identify their understanding of empowerment, and how these inform their day-to-day practice. Methods: Employing a qualitative approach, ten interviews with diabetes HCPs in two local Health Trusts were conducted. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using framework analysis. Results: HCPs viewed empowerment as a rejection of the paternalistic approach. Emphasis was given to ways of balancing clinical aims against patients’ concerns. Some saw the approach as improving service quality, whereas others saw empowerment as a process of social justice. These were related variably to the expedient use of resources. Conclusion: Models of empowerment, which promote that HCPs bring clinical expertise and patients ‘lay’ expertise of illness to the medical encounter, are inadequately descriptive of how empowerment approaches are actually engaged with, by HCPs. Practice implications: The empowerment approach is construed and utilised in different ways. Clarification of what empowerment entails in practice for HCPs, as well as what HCPs perceive are its multiple aims, is required

Topics: RT
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.03.015
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