Patient Power and Empowerment: Mitigating Elements of Valuable Patient Participation in Healthcare Collaboratives

A Minheere*, W Lambrechts, J Mampaey, T Stough, MCJ Caniels, J Semeijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the last decade, the public healthcare sector has had to deal with increased competition, a growing influence of patient associations, and a necessity to deliver health services more efficiently and effectively. Despite recognising the patient participant’s role as a critical stakeholder in value creation, there is a limited body of research on the influence and power of patient participants. This article focuses on regional health improvement collaboratives that aim to develop coordinated, multi-stakeholder solutions to their healthcare cost and quality problems. They meet regularly and include health professionals, health insurance providers, and patient participants. In this article, we explore the relationships between these stakeholders and patient participants’ interpersonal dimensions regarding empowerment and valuable collaboration. Data were collected through stakeholder observations during meetings of three regional health improvement collaboratives, as well as through semi-structured interviews with the patient participants involved in these cases. Results show that patient participants can be empowered on a personal level. However, this does not imply that patient participants are empowered within the group dynamics. Interpersonal relationships constitute a crucial hidden aspect of building trust. More dialogue and inquiry are needed to examine how patient engagement is enacted and positioned within healthcare collaboratives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number347
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioral Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023


  • collaboration
  • empowerment
  • individual competence
  • interrelation dynamics
  • mutual trust
  • power inequities


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