Self vs. Parent: Factors Influencing Likelihood of Hiring a Healthcare Advocate

April C. May, Danielle Casteel, Symone A. McKinnon, Terry A. Cronan


Objective: To determine how the factors that may lead an individual to hire a healthcare advocate to aid him/herself in navigating the healthcare system when dealing with chronic or complex health issues differ from the factors that are considered when deciding to hire a healthcare advocate for one’s parent.

Methods: 1,740 randomly selected participants completed a brief vignette-based questionnaire that indicated their likelihood of hiring an HCA for oneself or a parent. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to test the effects of predisposing, enabling, and illness factors on the predicted likelihood.

Results: Although neither model fit well statistically, both fit well descriptively. The direct path from predisposing to enabling factors and the indirect path from predisposing factors to illness level were significant in both models.

Discussion: Understanding the factors that influence the decision to hire an HCA could help health providers target patients who are most likely to use HCA services, thereby reducing the burden on the healthcare system and improving quality of care.

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