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Five Strategies Employed to Help Promote Behavior Change

Clinicians whose patients have activation increases report using five key strategies

doctor and patient

FRIDAY, March 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Five key strategies are employed by clinicians to help promote patient behavior change, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Jessica Greene, Ph.D., from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a mixed methods study using data on the change in patient activation measure (PAM) score for 7,144 patients. In-depth interviews were conducted with clinicians whose patients' score increases were among the highest and among the lowest (10 of each).

The researchers identified five strategies that were used among clinicians whose patients had relatively large activation increases to support patient behavior change: emphasizing patient ownership, partnering with patients, identifying small steps, scheduling frequent follow-up visits, and showing caring and concern for patients. Clinicians whose patients had lesser change in activation were less likely to describe using these approaches (mean, 1.3 strategies versus 3.9 for clinicians whose patients had relatively large activation increases). Regardless of group, most clinicians reported developing their own approach to support patient behavior change. Compared with clinicians whose patients showed less improvement in activation, those whose patients showed high activation change reported spending more time with patients on counseling and education.

"The five key strategies used by clinicians with high patient activation change are promising approaches to supporting patient behavior change that should be tested in a larger sample of clinicians to validate their effectiveness," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Insignia Health.

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