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Improving the Outcomes of Disease Management by Measuring Patient Activation Levels and Tailoring Individual Care Plans

Principal Investigator: Judith Hibbard, Dr. PH, University of Oregon

This study will examine whether patient outcomes can be improved by customizing disease management interventions to reflect individual patient “activation” levels. The study will use a new assessment tool, called the Patient Activation Measurement (PAM) to measure patients’ knowledge, skill and confidence in managing their own health and health care.

The study’s hypothesis is that regularly measuring patient activation and tailoring interventions based on this information will lead to improvements in patient activation, clinical outcomes, and total spending. The University of Oregon will work with LifeMasters Supported Self Care (a disease management company) to test these hypotheses using an experimental design with intervention and usual care (standard disease management) groups comprised of 1700 patients each. The study will focus on newly enrolled commercial patients with a primary diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CHF or CAD), diabetes, or asthma/COPD.

Nurse counselors will be given feedback on patient activation levels and protocols for customizing care plans for different stages of patient activation. The groups will be monitored during the study to determine the impact of this intervention on activation levels, health spending, and clinical outcomes.

This study was published in the American Journal of Managed Care in June 2009.

Please click here for a link to the AJMC website. 

For a pdf copy of the study, please click here.