Personality traits seem to play a much stronger role in patient empowerment than education, income or source of health insurance
HealthCentral recently surveyed 2,888 people on their website with the following chronic conditions: acid reflux, asthma, breast cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, IBD and rheumatoid arthritis. The goal was to identify the traits of a patient who feels empowered to take the lead in managing his/her care. The authors came to some interesting conclusions.
The study notes: “Personality traits seem to play a much stronger role in patient empowerment than education, income or source of health insurance.”
The study found that empowered patients have: “a high need for cognition, which means that they’re not happy with simply knowing a particular prescription successfully treats their condition, they want to know why it works. These people want to understand not only their condition but their treatment options.”
Education, Income, Health Insurance Had No Effect
Another interesting finding is that personality traits seem to play a larger role in a sense of empowerment than education, income or source of health insurance.
Similar to recent Pew research, this study addresses chronic disorders that vary greatly. For example, managing acid reflux is very different than coping with diabetes or chronic pain. They also surveyed registered members of HealthCentral.com which shows a basic level of engagement around health.
This study is a nice start in an area that needs more research.
This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.
(Image courtesy of Darcy McCarty on Flickr)