Validation of the patient activation measure in a multiple sclerosis clinic sample and implications for care

Lara Stepleman, Marie Christine Rutter, Judith Hibbard, Lisa Johns, Dustin Wright, Mary Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Purpose.Patient engagement in multiple sclerosis (MS) care can be challenging at times given the unpredictable disease course, wide range of symptoms, variable therapeutic response to treatment and high rates of patient depression. Patient activation, a model for conceptualising patients' involvement in their health care, has been found useful for discerning patient differences in chronic illness management. The purpose of this study was to validate the patient activation measure (PAM-13) in an MS clinic sample. Methods.This was a survey study of 199 MS clinic patients. Participants completed the PAM-13 along with measures of MS medication adherence, self-efficacy, depression and quality of life. Results.Results from Rasch and correlation analyses indicate that the PAM-13 is reliable and valid for the MS population. Activation was associated with MS self-efficacy, depression and quality of life but not with self-reported medication adherence. Also, participants with relapse-remitting MS, current employment, or high levels of education were more activated than other subgroups. Conclusions.The PAM-13 is a useful tool for understanding health behaviours in MS. The findings of this study support further clinical consideration and investigation into developing interventions to increase patient activation and improve health outcomes in MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1567
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2010


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • illness behaviour
  • patient activation
  • patient compliance
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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