The concept of empowerment is defined in many disciplines and specialties. In this paper, the author will use the strategies of Walker and Avant (2005) to analyze the concept of empowerment from a healthcare perspective. Defining attributes, antecedents, consequences and empirical referents of empowerment are identified, and a model case is presented. The information for this paper was gathered from dictionary definitions and professional journals.
The analysis reinforces that empowerment is a useful process, in which by mutual participation between the patient and the health professional, the patient can make informed decisions and autonomous health promoting behaviors that will improve his quality of life. Concept Analysis of Empowerment Empowerment is a process that promotes self-directed behavior change. Empowerment is fostered by believing every person is accountable and capable of growth and self-determination (Finfgeld, 2004).
The concept of empowerment is used in many different disciplines such as psychology, education, social work, medicine and nursing. According to Ellis-Stoll & Ropkess-Vawter (1998), empowerment suggests power and control. However power and control, from a patient-centered perspective, implies the individual has control over their own health, instead of someone enforcing power and control over the patient. Empowerment involves using a motivational approach and counseling techniques to help the patient implement changes and health promoting behaviors (Ellis-Stoll et al.
, 1998). As a primary care nurse practitioner, I see many patients with chronic diseases that would benefit from health promoting behaviors and empowerment. However, I think the empowerment concept is especially applicable to patients with type 2 diabetes because the disease requires multiple behavioral change that are ingrained aspects of the patients’ daily life, including weight, exercise and nutrition. In this paper I will analyze the concept of empowerment and apply it specifically to a diabetes case.
In analyzing the concept of empowerment, Walker and Avant (2005) procedure was used. Analyses of this concept will be used to generate knowledge and help nurses and providers understand empowerment, to better equip patients to make necessary health changes, to bring about autonomous health promoting behavior in patients, so they have improved physical health and better quality of life. Aim The aim of this paper is to develop an operational definition of the concept of empowerment from a healthcare perspective and apply it to type 2 diabetes.
The author will define empowerment, determine its attributes, identify a model, and discuss antecedents, consequences and empirical referents. Definition Empowerment is not a new word; defining it dates back the 17th century. The Oxford English Dictionary (2010) defines the verb ‘to empower’ as: “to give someone the authority or power; or to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
” The Merriam-Webster (2010) defines ‘to empower’ as “to give official authority or legal power to; to enable; or to promote the self-actualization or influence. ” Empowerment is the noun derived from the verb empower, defined as the result or process of empowering. Empowerment is difficult to define and may be better understood by its synonyms or by its absence. Synonyms for ‘empowerment’ are given by Merriam-Webster (2010) and include: to accredit, make possible, certify, commission, authorize, enable, invest, license, qualify and vest.
We can also define empowerment by its absence; “powerlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, alienation, victimization, subordination, oppression, paternalism, marginalization and loss, absence of control over one’s life and dependency” (Lewis ; Urmston, 2000). Empowerment is a complex concept and is used by many different disciplines in singular ways, depending on its context (Ellis-Stoll et al. , 1998). In this paper, empowerment is addressed from a nursing or healthcare perspective, as a process between the healthcare professional and the patient, with the intent of helping the client to make health promoting behavioral changes.