An emerging trend among some researchers, health care professionals and patient advocates involves changing the way patients are addressed. Rather than referring to patients as ‘diabetics’, ‘obese patients’ and ‘heart patients’, alternatives such as ‘patients with diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease’ are utilized. The idea behind this subtle change is that it helps create a patient identity that encompasses more than just their condition and encourages a more holistic understanding of individuals (i.e. patients with diabetes are more than just patients with diabetes).
This new way of thinking may stem from patient-centered research which suggests that the way patients are addressed is related to their perceptions of stigma (i.e. shame), which may ultimately alter their sense of well-being1.
Research continues to make headway in recognizing the social consequences of living with a condition and a common theme which emerges is one of independence and improved self-efficacy (i.e. your sense of your abilities). The patient empowerment theory2 suggests that patients are able to take greater control of their life and well-being and outlines that:
“A strong sense of self-efficacy can reduce disease symptoms and help bring about self-directed behavior change. The growing body of self-efficacy research gives us some important insights into how people heal. Healing requires a sense of control over your illness. The process of empowerment lies at the heart of healing. Patients are empowered when they have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and self-awareness necessary to influence their own behavior.”
What this suggests, then, is that patients could benefit from giving themselves the permission to try different avenues of treatment, (whether it be spiritual healing, lifestyle modification or a new drug therapy), and that they recognize that they are not bound by a particular treatment regimen.
At CCCT, we recognize the importance of having options in your medical treatment, whether you are unsatisfied with your current drug treatment or if it simply is not working for you. Participation in a drug trial may give you more options for how you manage your health by presenting an alternative therapy. Furthermore, should you make the decision to enroll in a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of a drug regimen; we make it our priority to give you the most comprehensive information so that you can make the best decisions for your health. All of our patients are treated with the highest degree of respect and consideration.
Information about current ongoing trials can be found at our Trials Page
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Telephone: (289) 597-0106
Godhe, JH. Patient Empowerment. 2011. http://naturalhealthperspective.com/attitude/empowerment.html (accessed October 18, 2011).
Wadden, TA, and E. Didie. “What’s in a name? Patients’ preferred terms for describing obesity.” Obesity Research , 2003: 1140-46.