Patient--provider communication: understanding the role of patient activation for Latinos in mental health treatment

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Attitude to Health; Communication Barriers; Cultural Characteristics; Female; *Hispanic Americans; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Male; Mental Disorders; Middle Aged; Patient Education as Topic; *Patient Participation; *Professional-Patient Relations; Qualitative Research; Young Adult


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This article highlights results from the Right Question Project-Mental Health (RQP-MH), an intervention designed to teach skills in question formulation and to increase patients' participation in decisions about mental health treatment. Of participants in the RQP-MH intervention, 83% were from a Latino background, and 75% of the interviews were conducted in Spanish. The authors present the steps participants undertook in the process of becoming "activated" to formulate effective questions and develop decision-making skills in relation to their care. Findings suggest that patient activation and empowerment are interdependent because many of the skills (i.e., question formulation, direct patient-provider communication) required to become an "activated patient" are essential to achieve empowerment. Also, findings suggest that cultural and contextual factors can influence the experience of Latinos regarding participation in health care interactions. The authors provide recommendations for continued research on the patient activation process and further application of this strategy in the mental health field, especially with Latinos.

DOI of Published Version



Health Educ Behav. 2009 Feb;36(1):138-54. Epub 2008 Apr 15. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Health education and behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID