Study: Patients’ Ability to Self-Manage Health Linked to Lower Risk of Chronic Disease and Hospital Use

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<p>Patients who did not feel competent to manage their health or navigate the health care system were more likely to develop a chronic disease over a three-year period than were “activated” patients with stronger self-management skills, according to new Commonwealth Fund–supported study published in the journal <em>Health Services Research</em>.</p><p>Low patient activation scores were also linked to significantly greater likelihood of costly hospitalization and emergency department use for medical conditions that can be treated in ambulatory care settings if managed properly.</p>
<p>The University of Oregon’s Judith H. Hibbard and colleagues, who reviewed some 98,000 medical records for the study, concluded that patients’ activation scores can be used to identify those who might benefit from additional supportive interventions. “Understanding the patient’s capability for self-management is a key part of understanding the risk of health declines and of avoidable utilization,” they said.</p> Read about the study