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1.RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Meiho university
2.RN, PhD, Professor, & Director, School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University 3.RN, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University 4.MD, Dean, Jingpin Clinic
5.MD, Dean, Chienwei Clinic
Background: Empowerment is an abstract concept that is difficult to practice. Empowerment requires mutual participation between empowerer and empoweree. Empowerment may differ from the context. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the context of empowerment in Taiwan.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the content of empowerment from the perspectives of people living with diabetes and educators.
Methods: Data collection in this qualitative study was performed by semi-structured interviews conducted from April to June, 2009. A convenience sample of 12 people living with diabetes and seven diabetes educators were recruited from the endocrinology outpatient clinics of three hospitals in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The data were analyzed by content analysis.
Results: Three phases of patient empowerment and two categories of each phase emerged from the interview data. The awareness phase included partnership building between empowerer and empoweree and their co- discovery of empowerment issues that arise in people living with diabetes. The action phase included enrichment of the patient and shift of power from empowerer to empoweree. The evaluation phase included reflection and feedback.
Conclusions: Healthcare professionals often face difficulty from the traditional education shifting to empowerment education. Therefore, they are required to understand the context of empowerment. The perceptions of people living with diabetes and educators elucidated in this study provide a valuable reference for diabetes care.
Keywords: Empowerment, Diabetes, Qualitative research