Chronic disease is recognized as having a large impact on patient quality of life (QoL), which can bedefined as an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with life in domains he or she considers important.
Successful patient engagement is related to a positive shift in the ways in which patients perceive self and life and experience empowerment to realize their life potential, thus improving quality of life.
Being able to keep one own purposes even after the diagnosis of a chronic disease is important to maintain an eudaimonic life projectuality and a satisfactory quality of life. Thus, the key to patient engagement is maintaining life purposes and to focus of these, even under the illness burden.
Patient engagement is a powerful concept capable of reflecting significant psychosocial changes that promote patient QoL along the care process. Patient Engagement is the process that allows patients to recover their life projectuality: namely the process that leads patients to a healthy rebalancing to their new circumstances that allows them to perceive themselves not only as patients but as persons.
True patient engagement requires mindfulness. That means that the mind has to be disciplined to focus on the task at hand. It means whatever you choose to do, you have to do it wholeheartedly. What is more important in patient engagement is making sense of the disease experience: to achieve psychological adjustment, patients need to face the reality of being chronically ill and make efforts to change their lives to adjust to the new circumstances imposed by their illness. The process of adjustment to a chronic illness signifies the integration of the burden of disease management into the broader ‘‘modus vivendi’’ of the individuals to renew their wellness plans.
Thus, effective engagement in health care suggests a gradual change in patients’ broader cognitive-emotional representation of the disease, including the recovery of a sense of control over the body. Successful patient engagement is also related to a positive shift in the ways in which patients perceive self and life and experience empowerment to realize their life potential.
Life is a journey. A journey with a purpose is usually a more interesting and happy journey. We all need to learn how to make the most of our days to live a truly engaged life even when faced by the hard difficulties of a new diagnosis: this is the patient engagement formula!