Are you actively engaged in your treatment?

You may have heard the term “patient engagement” over the years. But what does it really mean? Well, depending on who you talk to, you get different answers. I like to define “patient engagement” like this: being an active participate in your own healthcare, as opposed to being a passive recipient.

I’ve briefly written about this topic a bit in an article on telehealth, but that article was really geared towards clinicians trying to provide care, rather than patients trying to figure out what to look for in their treatment.

I recently did a brief interview with the good folks over at The Power of the Patient Project on this very topic. The video is below:

What do look for as a patient

So, if you’re trying to take charge of your own healthcare, what should you look for in the clinicians and organizations that are providing you care?

First off, as I mentioned in the video, you should really try to find clinicians & organizations that take a biopsychosocial approach to treatment. Your diagnosis, injury, or situation has more factors at play that just your symptoms.

Each person is unique, and you are no exception. You should prioritize finding a clinician & organization that takes the time to see you as the unique individual that you are, and not some diagnosis out or a textbook (or worse, just a number on a spreadsheet).

Second, you should look for a clinician that allows you to take an active role in developing your treatment plan. You want to be able to include your own personal goals for treatment. It may be something like being able to throw the ball in the backyard with your children (or grandchildren) without pain. Or, it may be something more complex like returning to your work or a hobby (like wood-working or underwater basket-weaving). Whatever your personal goals for treatment, you should inform your clinician about them so that they can be incorporated into your personalized treatment plan.

And lastly, the you should look for a clinician or clinic that lets you take an active role in the actual treatment you receive. This really means that you should try to be an active participant in treatment, rather than a passive recipient. For example, manual therapy is great, and it can relieve pain and increase motion. But it shouldn’t be the only treatment you receive. You may benefit from some of those passive treatments, but they should always be added with active treatments like exercises, activities, and other self-management techniques. I mean, you want to learn how to handle your pain on your own instead of having to come in to therapy for the rest of your life, right?

Follow those three guidelines when trying to find a clinician, and you’ll find that your treatment is more effective, provides longer-lasting benefits, and empowers you to become the driver of your own healthcare.

That’s it for now. Talk soon,


Are you dealing with chronic pain?

We understand that struggling with the stress and strain of chronic pain can be tough…Whether it’s waking up feeling stiff or severe tension after walking, running, or playing, no one wants to spend each day dealing with the soreness that chronic pain brings. While many people choose surgery or injections for pain relief, at ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, we offer non-surgical therapies which prevents patients from going under the knife.


If you’d like to book a chronic pain consultation now, with one of our top clinicians, click here or have your provider fax over a referral. We only book a limited amount of these consultations each month, so act quickly before they’re gone.

Rafi Salazar OT

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the CEO & President of Proactive Rehabilitation & Wellness, as well as the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. He worked as the lead clinician in an outpatient specialty clinic at his local VA Medical center, where he worked on projects to improve patient & employee engagement and experience throughout the organization. He also has experience as a faculty member at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, has served on several committees for the national OT Board (NBCOT), and as a consultant working for the State of Georgia’s DBHDD. He is also on the Board of Directors for NBCOT.