Despite the centrality of patient involvement in the policy and rhetoric of health care, the theoretical and empirical basis for patient involvement is lacking at the micro-level of practice. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide an overview and synthesize the current empirical research related to patient involvement at the micro-level of health care.
A database search was conducted (in PubMed, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, EconLit and PsycINFO) for articles published between 1990 and April 2015 in the field of patient involvement in health care. Out of 4238 references, 214 articles were eligible for this review.
We analyzed our sample using thematic analysis.
The reviewed articles revealed nine themes for patient involvement, concerning enablers; empowerment, patient education, communication for involvement, staff training, service systems, types; decision making, delivery, development, and consequences of patient involvement. The themes were synthesized into a tentative model that described patient-involvement research.
Our narrative review includes a wide variety of empirical studies on patient involvement in decision-making, delivery and development, and provides an integrative perspective suggesting that patient involvement should be viewed not only as isolated activities, but also as a result of educating and preparing patients, staff and systems.