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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045692. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of Health Care Empowerment: development and validation of the Health Care Empowerment inventory.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The Health Care Empowerment Model offers direction for the investigation of patient-controlled engagement and involvement in health care. At the core of the model is the construct of Health Care Empowerment (HCE), for which there exist no validated measures. A set of 27 candidate self-report survey items was constructed to capture five hypothesized inter-related facets of HCE (informed, engaged, committed, collaborative, and tolerant of uncertainty). The full item set was administered to 644 HIV-infected persons enrolled in three ongoing research studies. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses resulted in a two factor solution comprising four items each on two subscales: (1) HCE: Informed, Committed, Collaborative, and Engaged HCE ICCE) and (2) HCE Tolerance of Uncertainty (HCE TU). Subscale scores were evaluated for relationships with relevant constructs measured in the three studies, including depression, provider relationships, medication adherence, and HIV-1 viral load. Findings suggest the utility of this 8-item Health Care Empowerment Inventory (HCEI) in efforts to measure, understand, and track changes in the ways in which individuals engage in health care.

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