Judith Hibbard, Dr.P.H., Professor Emerita, University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management
Patient Activation Measure
The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a 13-item questionnaire that measures the latent concept of activation. The PAM provides a score on a 0-100 scale. Being activated refers to the degree to which an individual understands his or her own role in maintaining and promoting personal health and the extent to which he/she possesses a sense of self-efficacy for taking on this role. It is a global construct reflecting an individual’s overall knowledge, skill and confidence for self-management. Thus, the concept involves beliefs about one’s role, as well as knowledge and self-efficacy for taking stewardship of one’s own health. Multiple studies have shown that activation scores are predictive of most health behaviors and many health outcomes. Further, studies show that activation is changeable, and that when activation changes, outcomes also change.
Read the following to learn more about the PAM:
- “Improving the Outcomes of Disease Management by Tailoring Care to the Patient’s Level of Activation” in The American Journal of Managed Care (pdf)
- “Do Increases in Patient Activation Result in Improved Self-Management Behaviors?” in Health Services Research
- “Is Patient Activation Associated With Future Health Outcomes and Healthcare Utilization Among Patients With Diabetes?” in The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management (pdf)
- "Measuring self-management of patients' and employees' health: Further validation of the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) based on its relation to employee characteristics" in Patient Education and Counseling
Clinician Support for Patient Activation Measure
The Clinician Support for Patient Activation Measure (CS-PAM), which was adapted from the PAM, assesses a clinician’s beliefs about the importance of patient self-management. The CS-PAM, like the PAM, was created using Rasch analysis and, like the PAM, has strong psychometric properties. Research shows the CS-PAM to be a reliable measurement tool that can assess and differentiate clinicians on their beliefs and attitudes about the importance of patient self-management and behaviors. Clinicians scoring higher on this measure are more likely to engage in a number of behaviors supportive of the patient role.
Read the following for more information about the CS-PAM:
- “The development and testing of a measure assessing clinician beliefs about patient self-management” in Health Expectations
For licensing information on the PAM or CS-PAM, or to learn about two versions of the PAM tailored to parents of chronic or well children, please contact Craig Swanson, Insignia Health founder, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: We invited Dr. Hibbard to write this guest post because several of our current teams are using the PAM and/or CS-PAM with the patient and clinician participants in their studies. The following quote from FitBaby Co-Principal Investigator Karen Cheng, describes her team’s unique approach to using the PAM:
“Preterm birth that results in admittance to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is an unexpected shock for parents. Many of the parents find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of appointments with health care providers and navigating the medical system. In our FitBaby project, we hope to empower parents by giving them an easy way to record and access their baby’s ODL data, so that they can become active advocates in their child’s care. We decided to use the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) in our evaluation, because it captures the idea of patients becoming active advocates for their own care. We revised the language of the measure so that it reflects parents’ activation, and we hope to see increased parent activation among parents who use the FitBaby system, compared to parents who do not use it.”
-Karen Cheng, Ph.D., FitBaby Co-Principal Investigator, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science