Purpose: This review sought to develop an understanding of how engagement in healthcare has been conceptualized in the literature in order to inform future clinical practice and research in rehabilitation. A secondary purpose was to propose a working definition of engagement.
Methods: EBSCO and SCOPUS databases and reference lists were searched for papers that sought to understand or describe the concept of engagement in healthcare or reported the development of a measure of engagement in healthcare. We drew on a Pragmatic Utility approach to concept analysis.
Results: Thirty-one articles met the criteria and were included in the review. Engagement appeared to be conceptualized in two inter-connected ways: as a gradual process of connection between the healthcare provider and patient; and as an internal state, which may be accompanied by observable behaviors indicating engagement. Conclusion: Our review suggests engagement to be multi-dimensional, comprising both a co-constructed process and a patient state. While engagement is commonly considered a patient behavior, the review findings suggest clinicians play a pivotal role in patient engagement. This review challenges some understandings of engagement and how we work with patients and highlights conceptual limitations of some measures.
Disability and Rehabilitation
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