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What Motivates Empowered Patients? One Study Says Personality

Posted by | 4:40pm on Wednesday, April 28, 2010
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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.

Personality Counts
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.

Some Caveats
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)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    29 April 2010 at 3:04am
    What Motivates Empowered Patients? ...
  • Steven Murphy
  • 10 May 2010 at 2:05am
    [...] it works. These people want to understand not only their condition but their treatment options.” Eileen O’Brien ...
  • ICMCC Website » Quote Week 2010-18
  • http://practicemarketingrevolution.com Sarah Nelson

    Empowered patients = all the more reason to adopt an interactive media strategy for your practice or hospital. Social networks and forums can be used to guide your patients to the information you think will best help them.

    In addition, a social media tool like a blog can be a bridge between you and your patients and allow them to reach you with questions about their care.

  • Pingback: Steven Murphy()

  • Pingback: ICMCC Website » Quote Week 2010-18()

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