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Promoting Patient Phronesis: Communication Patterns in an Online Lifestyle Program Coordinated With Primary Care

Rief, JJ and Mitchell, GR and Zickmund, SL and Bhargava, TD and Bryce, CL and Fischer, GS and Hess, R and Kolb, NR and Simkin-Silverman, LR and McTigue, KM (2013) Promoting Patient Phronesis: Communication Patterns in an Online Lifestyle Program Coordinated With Primary Care. Health Education and Behavior, 40 (3). 311 - 322. ISSN 1090-1981

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Phronesis, or practical wisdom developed through experience, is an Aristotelian concept that can shed light on the capacities of patients to make health-related decisions and engage in healthy behaviors. In this article, the authors develop a conceptual framework for understanding the role of phronesis in lifestyle change as well as its relationship to patient activation, which is considered to be a critical component of the Chronic Care Model and patient education in general. The authors develop the concept of phronesis by analyzing qualitatively the comments made by 35 participants working to manage chronic health issues in a weight-loss study. The authors iteratively coded transcribed passages of exit interviews for phronesis and patient activation. These passages provide experientially grounded content for evaluating the use of phronesis and its development among individuals engaging in lifestyle change. Phronesis is expressed in 31% of participant responses to questions regarding the relationship between the online lifestyle intervention, participant health, and participant readiness to engage in productive clinical encounters with health care practitioners. Of those responses, 73% express some level of patient activation. The authors conclude that phronesis may be an important new tool for understanding successful self-management support, with potential usefulness in the creation of tailored lifestyle interventions, the development of patient activation, and the ability of participants to enact health-related behaviors. © 2012 Society for Public Health Education.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rief, JJ
Mitchell, GRgordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Zickmund, SLslz9@pitt.eduSLZ9
Bhargava, TD
Bryce, CLbryce99@pitt.eduBRYCE990000-0001-6356-6675
Fischer, GS
Hess, R
Kolb, NR
Simkin-Silverman, LRlrs@pitt.eduLRS
McTigue, KM
Centers: University Centers > University Center for International Studies (UCIS)
Date: 1 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Health Education and Behavior
Volume: 40
Number: 3
Page Range: 311 - 322
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/1090198112452863
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
School of Medicine > Clinical and Translational Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1090-1981
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2012 19:24
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2021 11:55


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