Patient centered care: A path to better health outcomes through engagement and activation

Kenneth L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patient Activation and Health confidence are constructs to assess patient engagement and are utilized to encourage patient engagement. A health care provider may increase patient engagement further by utilizing behavior change theories and models such as the Trans-Theoretical Model of Change (TTM), Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) to realize effective and lasting health behavior change by placing accountability increasingly on the patient/caregiver to choose to make changes in their health behavior on their terms. Reducing or eliminating harmful behaviors such as smoking and/or beginning or increasing beneficial health behaviors such as diet modification or performance of an exercise program, patients realize improved outcomes and better health. PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to define health confidence as a measurement tool for patient engagement, use the TTM as a measure of the patient's readiness to change, use TTM, SDT and MI as interventional approaches to effect patient change of behavior encouraged by physical therapists and incorporate the ICF as a means of identifying barriers and facilitators and incorporate the bio-psychosocial model for patient-centered care to improve health behavior, health and patient outcomes. CONCLUSION: Patient-centered care requires involvement of the patient and/or their caregiver at the center of the plan. Use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to identify facilitators and barriers unique to the patient/caregiver offers another opportunity to successfully engage the patient by incorporating the patient's bio-psychosocial support system into care delivery and for sustainability. The ICF is a taxonomy and classification system that prompts clinicians to identify environmental factors (facilitators and barriers) that will influence the patient's ability to perform during therapy session and to sustain the interventions and employ suggestions outside of formal therapy sessions. Using the facilitators to encourage sustainable change and removing barriers, patients are more likely to realize positive health behavior change and in turn demonstrate improved outcomes and health as a result of physical therapy intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2016


  • Patient activation, patient engagement, outcomes, patient-centered, health confidence


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