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Studies Look at Patient Engagement, Overuse of Health Care

Two recent Commonwealth Fund–supported studies focus on the role of patient engagement in health care. Writing in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (Nov. 30, 2011), the University of Oregon’s Jessica Greene, Ph.D., and Judith H. Hibbard, Dr.P.H., examined the relationship between patients' level of engagement—as measured by their score on the Patient Activation Measure—and health outcomes. In another article published in the International Journal of Person Centered Medicine (Dec. 2011), the researchers investigated whether patients' use of Web-based portals encourages them to take on active roles in their care.

Two other Commonwealth Fund–supported studies, led by Salomeh Keyhani, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and Deborah Korenstein, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, look at overuse of health care services. In the first, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Jan. 23, 2012), the researchers reported on findings of a literature review they conducted to better understand the scope of overuse and to spot trends over time. In the second study (Medical Care, March 2012), the authors examined the relationship between geographic variations and overuse of health care services.

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