Patients and Family Engagement

Patients and Family Engagement

  1. What does the literature say about patient and family engagement and what would you recommend?

Patient and family engagement entails aspects such as shared decision making as well as patient-centered care. Apparently, engaging patients in the nursing process results in improved quality and safety. Research shows that there are some benefits accrued to involving patients and their families in care.  First, the number of adverse events has reduced significantly over time since the inception of patient-centered care models.  Secondly, the patients have been able to manage their conditions more effectively through education. Thirdly, the amount of time spent in hospitals by the patients has decreased as well as the frequency of seeking healthcare services.  Fourthly, it has been established that family members offer vital information to the healthcare providers leading to better and faster diagnosis of the diseases (Herrin, Harris, Kenward, Hines, Joshi, & Frosch, 2016). Additionally, the family members step in when the patients have physical or cognitive difficulties in making taking care of themselves or make rational decisions. Nevertheless, some family members and patients prefer being given instructions to being involved in participative decision making (Sommers, Goold, McGlynn, Pearson, & Danis, 2013). Therefore, it is imperative that Mr. Lowell considers the opinion of the patients and their families and then emphasize the need for engagement.

  1. How are patient and family concerns related to clinical significance?

The occurrence of diseases is not only biological but also sociocultural. As such, the efficacy of the medication prescribed and the appropriateness of therapies are largely contingent upon the beliefs of the patients and their families. Therefore, Mr. Lowell has to strategize on the best model that will be most effective in eliciting useful clinical information from the patients or their family members. Additionally, it will be imperative that the clinician considers validating the statements as presented by the patients and express empathy.  Additionally, incorporating the values and beliefs of the patient in the treatment plans will be important (Burns, Bellows, Eigenseher, & Gallivan, 2014). These will be instrumental in assessing how the prescribed therapies and medicines are affecting the overall effect of the patients, that is, clinical significance.


Burns, K. K., Bellows, M., Eigenseher, C., & Gallivan, J. (2014). ‘Practical’ resources to support patient and family engagement in healthcare decisions: a scoping review. BMC Health Services Research. 14(1): 1-25

Herrin, J., Harris, K. G., Kenward, K., Hines, S., Joshi, M. S., & Frosch, D. L. (2016). Patient and family engagement: a survey of US hospital practices. BMJ Quality & Safety, 25(3): 182–189.

Sommers, R., Goold, S. D., McGlynn, E. A., Pearson, S. D., & Danis, M. (2013). Focus Groups Highlight That Many Patients Object To Clinicians’ Focusing On Costs. Health Affairs. 32(2): 338-346




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