For a study, researchers sought to determine the extent of patient empowerment disparities depending on biopsychosocial patient-reported measures and which measures best explained those differences.

An observational cross-sectional study of 6,918 US-based persons with arthritis was conducted. Through the Live Yes! INSIGHTS program of the Arthritis Foundation, data were gathered from March 2019 to March 2020. Patient Information Seeking & Healthcare Interaction Results were the 2 measures used to evaluate patient empowerment in the Health Care Empowerment Questionnaire. The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-29 and PROMIS emotional support scale was used to evaluate patient-reported outcomes. ANOVA evaluated group differences, whereas Spearman rank correlation evaluated relationships between variables. The contributions of sociodemographic traits, arthritis type, and patient-reported health indicators in elucidating patient empowerment were assessed by hierarchical regression analysis (α= 0.05).

Males, older people, less educated people, people with osteoarthritis, people who receive less emotional support, and those who have greater physical function all had lower levels of empowerment, albeit the impact of most of these factors in the final regression models was minimal to nonexistent. In all unadjusted and adjusted analyses, empowerment did not differ by race or ethnicity. In the final regression models, emotional support best explained patient empowerment.

Patient empowerment requires emotional support. This means that initiatives designed to increase patient empowerment should concentrate on and track changes in emotional support.