"Throw Your Hammer!" The Essence of Patient Empowerment in Diabetes
The empowerment approach to patients with diabetes is a philosophy that was introduced by Robert M. Anderson and Martha M. Funnell of Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center in the 1990s. This approach is based on the observation that more than 98% of diabetes care is performed by patients themselves. Dr. Anderson, Ms. Funnell, and their colleagues found that every patient has a right and an ability to solve his/her own problem in his/her own diabetes. Therefore healthcare providers
... d provide support for patients own endeavors. Empowerment has three essential elements: 1) the patient is centered, they make a ˆnal decision of their daily self-management, and are responsible for those decisions and the results; 2) patient support is the main role of healthcare providers; and 3) patient and healthcare providers should collaborate. In this author's opinion, it is important for healthcare providers to improve their communication skills to use the empowerment approach to help patients change their behaviors in the real world. To encourage empowerment, we created a unique learning program for healthcare providers, named "Diabetes Theater". This program is an interactive workshop comprising two parts: drama and discussion.