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The Kings Fund: ‘Patient Activation’ Supporting People to Manage Their Health

The ethos of the Kings Fund publication ‘Supporting People to Manage Their Health:  An Introduction to Patient Activation‘ was recently highlighted to me in a discussion with Caroline Poole, Strategic Lead for Long Term Conditions at Pennine Care Foundation Trust in relation to how Flo is a key tool in increasing patient’s Patient Activation Measure (PAM) score. 

PAM gives a simple evidence-based mechanism for establishing the capacity of individuals to manage their own health.  A patient’s PAM score relates to their knowledge, skills and confidence for self management with research indicating that appropriately designed interventions can increase a patients’ level of activation leading to associated health benefits.

Utilising Flo’s unique persona-based interactions to support patients in becoming more educated, aware and confident in self management is a pragmatic method to support improvements in this measure and to deliver the benefits associated with more activated patients.

With key findings from the paper suggesting that people who are more ‘activated’ become more likely to adopt positive behaviours (diet, exercise), attend screenings, check-ups, immunisations and have clinical indicators in the normal range increasing a patients’ PAM score significantly supports an improvement in engagement and ultimately health outcomes.

An interesting note was that studies of interventions to support increased activation patients who start with the lowest activation score tend to increase their scores the most suggesting that effective interventions can engage even the most disengaged.

Also that patient activation scores and cost correlations show that patients with the lowest activation scores have costs approx. 8% higher than more activated patients in the baseline year and 21% in the subsequent year, certainly an interesting discussion to be had with interested stakeholders when discussing Flo.

With regards to evaluation, using PAM scores as a measurement pre and post Flo’s intervention could prove to be an effective measurement tool to demonstrate an increase in patient’s knowledge, skills and confidence for self management. Also where PAM scores are used across pathways already it is certainly worth considering Flo as an intervention to support their improvement.

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