The effects of patient-centered communication, social capital, and internet use on patient empowerment: a cross-sectional study in China
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Patient empowerment is a relatively new concept in the context of the Chinese health care system. Based on Street's ecological framework of communication in healthcare settings, this study examined the social, clinical and media factors that could empower patients. Results from a survey of 401 Chinese adults (response rate, 34%) showed that respondents felt more empowered as health care consumers when they reported having more social capital bonding and bridging, and used the Internet for health purposes more often. Importantly, having had more positive patient-centered communicative experiences with health care providers not only predicted patient empowerment, it also moderated the effects of bridging social capital and Internet use on empowerment. Specifically, the more positive the experience of interacting with health care providers, the weaker the effects of bridging social capital and Internet use on patient empowerment. The findings have important implications for patient empowerment in health care, particularly within the context of China.
author list (cited authors)
Jiang, S., & Street, R. L.