E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Patient empowerment workshop (#607)

Elda Maria Vecchi Martini 1 , Bertha Aguilar 1
  1. Asociación Mexicana contra el cáncer de Mama AC. Fundacion Cimab, Hipódromo Condesa, DF, Mexico


An initiative of Cim*ab Foundation to provide women with breast cancer  the tools to enforce their rights. It was given in ten cities of Mexico to 332 women.

The workshop provides useful tools to understand their rights, obligations, legal framework, and strategies to be a participative patient and how to file a complaint and integrate the patient’s voice into the health system.

There still is a vertical relationship within the health system between patients and doctors. Support groups have not ignited a social movement of their own. This situation is observed in both, the public and private sector. Patient groups are not taken into consideration when addressing patients’ needs in the continuum of the disease.

Health is a constitutional right, quality of care is approached from the administrative and managerial perspectives. Up until the twentieth century it was considered cruel to inform patients of their condition. Conspiracy between doctors and families took place, resulting in passive patients. Today, patient empowerment must be exercised in healthcare. Each actor, user or provider, assumes a role with cultural and socioeconomic consequences.

This workshop addresses the problem from a rights and citizenship perspective. It recognizes access to quality healthcare as a right for all  and empowers patients to establish a horizontal relationship between them and doctors, hospital managers, and health officials. Emphasis is placed in informing all attendees that before being patients, they are citizens with rights.

The purpose is to identify how exercising patient rights translates into timely quality care, patient decision-making, privacy and dignity. It seeks to build awareness among participants of the responsibility they have towards themselves. This approach will result in improvements of our healthcare systems.

Data analysis

Surveys conducted to evaluate the workshop’s impact reflect a change in the way patients’ approach their cancer process.