Patient Empoverment and its Connection to Trust


  • Nomie Eriksson University of Skövde, Skövde
  • Eva Söderström Universtiy of Skövde
  • Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt University of Skövde, Skövde



Patient Empowerment (PE) allows patients to be more active in managing their own health and quality of life. The aim of this paper is to analyze how trust affects PE, in the context of healthcare information systems. An interview study was conducted concerning patients’ online access to electronic healthcare records. Results show that PE requires that patients trust the information that healthcare professionals and their electronic health record systems provide. Without trust, patients cannot control their own participation in relation to the healthcare professionals. This may result in a diminished ability to participate in the healthcare processes regarding their own care. Practical implications include acquired knowledge about and awareness of how trust influences PE, with particular emphasis on healthcare professionals. A trust model is presented that illustrates the trustor-trustee dimensions of PE. This model has both theoretical and practical implications in its illustration of how trust and PE connect.


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