It was expected by both patients and health professionals that health professionals were the ultimate authority by virtue of their expertise and would therefore make the final decision about what was best for patients (Stone, 1979). Patients were not expected to play an active role in their healthcare. Nor did providers expect patients to abide by their teaching. In fact, information about their health was typically held from them (Flavo, 2011). The patients knowing too much would make the physicians feel less important and the patient would have less respect for them.

Now, patients have total control over their health and the care they receive as well as the ability to remain compliant or not. Despite what they believed back in the day; patients respect providers more when they give information to the patient about their condition. “Patients frequently misinterpret a lack of information as meaning that the truth is so negative that it cannot be shared with them” (Flavo, 2011). I have found that in my practice, patients are more willing to open up, ask for help and return to follow up appointments if the provider and nurses are more open and hands on with the patient teaching.

However, patients must want to participate in their care. They must be active and engaged to have the best possible outcomes. By telling the patient the consequences of not adhering to the care plan can build trust, enforce teaching, and assure the patient is aware of what is going on.

In my field, I always assess the readiness of my patient to learn. Most are post-surgery, so they do not get up without pain medication or wanting to lay in bed all day and not get in the chair. After assessing readiness, I begin planning the day they are admitted, and that plan continues through till the day of discharge.

Falvo, D. R. (2011). Effective patient education: A guide to increased adherence(fourth ed., pp. 1 & 221). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Retrieved from https://viewer.gcu.edu/RQBKXW

Stone, G. C. (1979). Patient compliance and the role of the expert. Journal of Social Issues, 35(1), 34–59.


The involvement of the patient in the decisions concerning their own health has increased over the years. Patients are now expected to assume more personal responsibility for health outcomes, and patient participation in health and health care has been promoted as best practices. In the past, patients were viewed as passive recipients of health care (Stone, 1979). Generally, neither patients were expected to play any active role in their health care by health care professionals too. (Stone, 1979). Today, this has changed drastically. Patients can now ask questions about their health and demand answers.

Today’s health care system accommodates the personal feelings that patients have on the various treatment plans available. Clinicians and nurses are now being trained on involving patient in their health care practice decision making process from school. I still remember reading patient right, informed consent chapters in nursing school which always guide us to inform patient any all his health issues and get permission before performing and treatment plan. This is an example of empowering patients to make decision in their health care. Technology is considered to be one of the significant sources of developing control over health in people. Patient gain lot of health information related to their health problems in internet so they can get more information and easily understand the therapeutic intervention and make decision appropriately Internet where we can get preventive measures to illness in primary level has enabled people to practice healthy health habit to avoid illness . People are gaining control over health. For example looking to internet and practicing yoga is also an example of gaining control over fitness and health. My 20 year old cousin has DM and he is aware about his disease, sign and symptoms of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia ,diabetic diet, he states “ aunty I learnt all this from health related websites”. This in just an example how people have knowledge about their health condition and can make decision based upon this knowledge with health care team.


Falvo, D. R. (2011). Effective patient education: A guide to increased adherence. (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Retrieved from: https://viewer.gcu.edu/RQBKXW

Stone, G. C. (1979). Patient compliance and the role of the expert. Journal of Social Issues, 35(1), 34–59.

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