The social space of empowerment within epilepsy services : The map is not the terrain

Bennett, Louise and Bergin, Michael and Wells, John S.G. (2016) The social space of empowerment within epilepsy services : The map is not the terrain. Epilepsy and Behavior, 56. pp. 139-148. ISSN 1525-5050

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Empowerment is now seen as an integral component of holistic practice and service design in healthcare, particularly as it relates to the improvement of quality of life for people with epilepsy. However, the literature suggests that empowerment is a neglected and poorly understood concept by service users and providers alike within epilepsy services. Conceptual ambiguity is a further impediment to its understanding and implementation. Bearing this in mind, a clear definition of empowerment is needed in order to realistically recognize, encourage, and prioritize empowerment as a service design philosophy. Therefore, this paper undertakes a concept analysis of empowerment with reference to epilepsy services. Results indicate that empowerment demands a transformation of consciousness and a readiness to act on this transformation in order to allow people to gain personal power and autonomy over their own life, including the self-management of their condition. With this in mind, a critical reflection on the 'micro' and 'macro' levels of power that exist within epilepsy services is warranted with reference to theoretical principles. In this context although the map is not the terrain, we argue that an educational intervention guided by critical social theory principles has the potential to encourage an understanding of empowerment and 'holds the key' to future advances for its implementation within epilepsy services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This paper was funded by the Health Service Executive, Ireland ( P1438 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2808
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Depositing User: Admin SSL
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 23:03
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 02:25

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