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Developments in patient activation of people with chronic illness and the impact of changes in self-reported health: results of a nationwide longitudinal study in the Netherlands.

Rijken, M., Heijmans, M., Jansen, D., Rademakers, J.J.D.J.M. Developments in patient activation of people with chronic illness and the impact of changes in self-reported health: results of a nationwide longitudinal study in the Netherlands. Patient Education and Counseling: 2014, 97(3), 383-390
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Objective: To explore how patient activation, i.e. patients’ perceived knowledge, skills and self-confidence to manage their health and healthcare, develops within chronically ill individuals over time, and to estimate the impact of self-rated health on this development. Methods: Linear regression analyses and structural equation modeling were conducted using longitudinal data from 751 people with chronic disease(s). Patient activation was assessed by the patient activation measure; self-rated health was assessed by the SF-36 general health scale. Results: Mean patient activation score at baseline was 60.6, and 18 months later 56.5. Baseline self-rated health had a positive, indirect effect on patient activation at 18 months. In addition, the change in self-rated health over one year (from baseline) was a significant predictor of patients’ activation scores. Conclusion: Patient activation is not a stable characteristic of people who have been chronically ill for years. Within individuals both increases and decreases occur, but at group level patient activation slightly decreases over time. This may (partly) be due to the deterioration of health that many people with chronic illness experience in course of time. Practice implications: Clinical practitioners should assess the activation level of chronically ill patients regularly, especially when changes in health occur.(aut. ref.)