What Facilitates "Patient Empowerment" in Cancer Patients During Follow-Up: A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Literature

Clara R Jørgensen, Thora G Thomsen, Lone Ross, Susanne M Dietz, Signe Therkildsen, Mogens Groenvold, Charlotte L. Rasmussen, Anna T Johnsen

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Empowerment is a concept of growing importance in cancer care, but little is known about cancer patients' experiences of empowerment during follow-up. To explore this area, a qualitative systematic literature review was conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. A total of 2,292 papers were identified and 38 articles selected and included in the review. The thematic synthesis of the papers resulted in seven analytical themes being identified: empowerment as an ongoing process, knowledge is power, having an active role, communication and interaction between patients and health care professionals, support from being in a group, religion and spirituality, and gender. Very few articles explicitly explored the empowerment of cancer patients during follow-up, and the review identified a lack of attention to patients' own understandings of empowerment, a lack of specific focus on empowerment during follow-up, and insufficient attention to collective empowerment, as well as ethnic, social, and gender differences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)292-304
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Journal Article
  • empowerment
  • inequality
  • qualitative systematic review
  • thematic synthesis
  • agency
  • cancer
  • power
  • equality
  • Patient Participation/psychology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Humans
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Power (Psychology)
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Qualitative Research
  • Cancer Survivors/psychology
  • Communication
  • Patient Education as Topic


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