Research Topic

Consumer engagement in health and well-being: theoretical and empirical perspectives in patient centered medicine

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The growing understanding of the key role of people in improving healthy behaviors and clinical outcomes has led healthcare to search for innovative ways to foster individuals’ roles in the care and health promotion processes. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that making consumers active agents in their ...

The growing understanding of the key role of people in improving healthy behaviors and clinical outcomes has led healthcare to search for innovative ways to foster individuals’ roles in the care and health promotion processes. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that making consumers active agents in their health and care is today recognized as a key priority for services’ innovation. In the era of participatory health, the concept of “engagement” may be particularly promising to give consumers a starring role in managing their health and well-being.

The healthcare field has recently introduced the term “engagement” in its lexicon to call for a renewed partnership among the actors (i.e., patients, caregivers, practitioners, decision makers…) implied in the health and care management. Overall, the concept of engagement attempts to offer a compass for action in the current complex and uncertain context of healthcare design and health promotion initiatives. The main aim is giving (back) a leading role to patients and taking them on board for a more efficient and effective process of care delivery and of health promotion initiatives. Furthermore, consumer health engagement can be the key to systematically diagnosing and making sense of the different organizational, relational, and psychological components at play in the dynamic exchange between “demand” and “supply” of health and care. This challenge could or even should be integrated with a complex attempt coming from the literature on medicine and regarding a new medical model that should be offered to patients/clients/consumers: that of patient-centered medicine, based on a biopsychological epistemology.

However, despite the growing “buzz” both about consumer engagement, and the numerous attempts to define how those goals might be achieved, and about patient-centered medicine or its direct implication on patient relations between physicians/healthcare professionals, both evidence based and theoretical studies aiming to systematically set the groundwork of such a crucial phenomenon, i.e., consumer/patient engagement in a patient-centered medicine, are still lacking.

In this light, this Frontiers Research Topics is conceived as an arena to bridge research and theoretical expertise mastered in different disciplinary domains in order to set a foundation for a shared definition of what consumer engagement in health and well-being is and on useful guidelines for practicing consumer engagement in patient-centered medicine.

We welcome authors to contribute original and review articles. Potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• Analysis of psycho-social determinants of health engagement.
• Analysis of clinical effectiveness of engaging interventions.
• Interventions/strategies/best practices to promote consumer engagement and to innovate healthcare organizations and health promotion interventions.
• Evaluation of economic and organizational effectiveness of consumer engagement (i.e., with patients, families…) interventions in health and care promotion from a patient-centered view.
• Technologies and strategies aimed at improving consumer engagement from a patient-centered view and analysis of their impact on policymaking and healthcare innovation.
• Communication strategies to foster consumer engagement/patient-centered care in health and well-being.
• Innovation of research methods that study and sustain the reform of healthcare in a more participatory and patient-centered scenario.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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