Patient Activation: clinically documented

April 21, 2018

In recent years, the Patient Activation Measure-13 (PAM-13) has played a major role in assessing a patient’s ability to engage with their  own health behaviors and outcomes. Patient activation specifies the level of patient engagement and can contribute to better self-management, higher engagement in treatment, and greater patient satisfaction. In addition, patient activation is associated with better health outcomes.

Previous research has mostly examined patient activation among adults with chronic conditions and in primary care settings. There are  few examples of addressing patient activation considerations in developing disease awareness campaigns, marketing promotions, educational outreach, compliance programs, and clinical trial recruitment. Using PAM principles, 83bar has developed a patient activation system implemented by nearly three dozen brands in healthcare, pharma, medical devices and clinical trials. We built a database of more than 700,000 patient prospects over the past three years.

The validation of PAM principles below has been examined across various populations: adults with chronic conditions, multimorbid older adults, patients in surgical settings, neurological patient populations, diabetics and patients with fibromyalgia, primary care patients and  patients with rare disease conditions.

1. When all is said and done, I am the person who is responsible for managing my health condition
2. Taking an active role in my own health care is the most important factor in determining my health and ability to function
3. I am confident that I can take actions that will help prevent or minimize some symptoms or problems associated with my health condition
4. I know what each of my prescribed medications does
5. I am confident I can tell when I need to go get medical care and when I can handle a health problem myself
6. I am confident I can tell my health provider the concerns I have even when he or she does not ask
7. I am confident I can follow through on the medical treatment I need to do at home
8. I understand the nature and causes of my health condition
9. I know the different medical treatment options available for my health condition
10. I have been able to maintain the lifestyle changes I have made for my health
11. I know how to prevent further problems with my health condition
12. I am confident I can find a solution when new situations or problems arise with my health condition
13. I am confident I can maintain lifestyles changes, like diet and exercise, even during times of stress

PAM-13 is a suitable clinical and research tool in health settings. Our system expands the utility of PAM, providing support for its use for understanding activation among patient-consumers in outreach campaigns. PAM can also help us identify key aspects of patient engagement in health care promotion, education, doctor visits, and advocacy.

Knowing patient activation levels along the continuum of healthcare decision-making has helped 83bar identify potential interventions for improving patient commitments, e.g. identifying those with poor engagement, preventing worsening of the condition, and later helping those with low PAM scores engage in their own care. Assessing activation at an early stage can be useful when planning the targeting and messaging to understand how patients engage in their own health.