Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Health Services and Policy Management

First Advisor

Melanie Cozad


Patients with fibromyalgia are faced with many decisions throughout the process of seeking and obtaining health care. For patients to feel empowered to take action, it is essential they feel as if they can play a role in making decisions up to their desired level of participation. However, it is unclear what constitutes empowerment in shared decision making between patients and providers. For patients with fibromyalgia, who deal with complex symptomology and individualized treatment choice, it is important to know what makes them feel empowered to participate in care. The objective of this dissertation is to create a patient-centered definition and context for empowerment within shared decision making between patients with fibromyalgia and their doctor. The findings presented here provide perspectives on empowerment and shared decisions directly from the voices of patients with fibromyalgia.

Available for download on Friday, December 15, 2023