Main Article Content
Society has changed dramatically in recent decades not only from the demographic, social and economic point of view, but also from the educational aspect. The current population has higher levels of education than in previous times and can access information in a relatively easy way. In addition, the relationship between the healthcare professional and the patient has evolved from the paternalistic medicine to a more informed and participatory patient-provider relationship.
Patient participation and empowerment in the health decision-making process means that the patient has the opportunity to share his/her opinion, knowledge, experience and expectations with other patients, as well as with the health professionals in order to make informed decisions. With this evolution of the role of the patient in the current society, patients have asked for multidisciplinary and coordinated work among professionals to respond to their needs for diagnosis, control and treatment.
Patient's participation and empowerment can be conducted both, in the management of the disease, as well as helping to improve different aspects of health services. Participation and empowerment also mean representing other patients. In all cases, patients’ education and training, using clear and plain language, and patients’ confidence play a pivotal role.
The aim of this review is to present a summary of the scope of the situation regarding patients’ empowerment and education.
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