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The Patient-as-Partner Approach in Health Care: A Conceptual Framework for a Necessary Transition

Karazivan, Philippe MD, MA; Dumez, Vincent MSc; Flora, Luigi PhD; Pomey, Marie-Pascale MD, PhD; Del Grande, Claudio MSc; Ghadiri, Djahanchah Philip MSc, PhD; Fernandez, Nicolas PhD; Jouet, Emmanuelle PhD; Las Vergnas, Olivier MSc, PhD; Lebel, Paule MD, MSc

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000603
Perspectives

The prevalence of chronic diseases today calls for new ways of working with patients to manage their care. Although patient-centered approaches have contributed to significant advances in care and to treatments that more fully respect patients’ preferences, values, and personal experiences, the reality is that health care professionals still hold a monopoly on the role of healer. Patients live with their conditions every day and are experts when it comes to their own experiences of illness; this expertise should be welcomed, valued, and fostered by other members of the care team. The patient-as-partner approach embodies the ideal of making the patient a bona fide member of the health care team, a true partner in his or her care. Since 2010, the University of Montreal, through the Direction of Collaboration and Patient Partnership, has embraced this approach. Patients are not only active members of their own health care team but also are involved in research and provide valuable training to health sciences students. Including patients as full partners in the health care team entails a significant shift in both the medical practice and medical education cultures. In this perspective, the authors describe this innovative approach to patient care, including the conceptual framework used in its development and the main achievements of patient partners in education, health care, and research.

Dr. Karazivan is a family physician and researcher, University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Mr. Dumez is a patient and codirector, Direction of Collaboration and Patient Partnership, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Flora is a patient, researcher, and educational consultant, Laboratoire Interuniversitaire EA 3971 EXPERICE, Université Paris 8, Paris, France.

Dr. Pomey is an associate professor, Department of Health Administration, School of Public Health, Institute of Public Health, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Mr. Del Grande is a research associate, University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Ghadiri is a patient’s relative and assistant professor, HEC Montréal, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Fernandez is a patient and professor, Département d’éducation et formation spécialisées, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Jouet is a patient and researcher, Laboratoire de recherche de l’Établissement Public de Santé de Maison Blanche, Paris, France.

Dr. Las Vergnas is a patient’s relative and director of doctoral research, ED 139, Université Paris X, Paris, France.

Dr. Lebel is an associate professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: Philippe Karazivan and Marie-Pascale Pomey head the research group of the Direction of Collaboration and Patient Partnership (DCPP) at the University of Montreal. Vincent Dumez and Paule Lebel are codirectors of the DCPP. All other authors have no competing interests to disclose.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Karazivan, University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, Saint-Antoine Tower, 850 Saint-Denis St., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2X 0A9; telephone: (514) 890-8000 ext. 15485; e-mail: philippe.karazivan@umontreal.ca.

© 2015 by the Association of American Medical Colleges