Entries by Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Patient Participation in Research: Towards Meaningful Engagement

“If patient engagement were a drug, it would be the blockbuster drug of the century and malpractice not to use it.” Leonard Kish Have you detected a recent upsurge in activities concerning patient engagement in health research? If you are involved in patient advocacy, you may be increasingly aware of discussions around the importance of […]

Patient Advocacy: Ten Tips to Develop a Stronger Social Media Presence

Social media is a powerful addition to our patient advocacy toolbox. We can use it to raise awareness of our cause, build a community of supporters, promote our key messages and highlight our patient advocacy activities. To help you strengthen your online presence and create more visibility for your cause, I’ve put together this list […]

Tips on Finding a New Job or Changing Career after Cancer Treatment

In this three-part series, I’ve been exploring different aspects of returning (or continuing) to work after a cancer diagnosis. So far I’ve tackled issues from preparing to return to work and handling your workload, to dealing with problems such as fatigue and concentration.  In the final part of this series, I’m turning my attention to […]

Returning To Work During or After Cancer Treatment: Part 2

This is the second part of a three-part series which deals with common concerns on returning to work after a cancer diagnosis. In Part 1 of this series, I shared some tips with you on how to prepare for your re-entry into the workplace. In this article we will look at practical ways to handle […]

Returning To Work After Cancer Treatment. Part 1: Preparing the Ground

This month’s article is the first in a three-part series which deals with common concerns on returning to work after a cancer diagnosis and offers practical solutions for helping with your re-entry into the workplace. A diagnosis of cancer is a profound disruption in our lives, leaving no area untouched. Cancer impacts our family life, […]

Beyond Pink: The Other Side of Breast Cancer Awareness and Lessons We’ve Learned From Each Other

It’s October and the pink frenzy is in full force.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is impossible to miss given the pink ribbon avalanche that arrives each Fall.  While there is no denying that BCAM has played a significant role over the past two decades in raising public awareness of breast cancer, there is  nevertheless […]

A Patient Engagement Manifesto– 6 Principles of Partnership

Recently I presented at a conference on the topic of patient engagement. I spoke to the audience, mainly comprised of digital technology start-ups, about the need to find ways to engage patients meaningfully in healthcare design.  Too many developers think they understand what patients need, but in reality, many appear to be motivated more by […]

Patient Advocacy: 15 Winning Ways to Attract More Readers to Your Blog

Have you ever had the sinking feeling of pouring your heart and soul into writing something you felt sure people will want to read, only to find this isn’t the case? That, apart from your Mom and your best friend, it feels like no one else is reading your blog? Having your own blog is […]

Coping With Scanxiety: Practical Tips from Cancer Patients

“Every three to four months I get a wake-up call that my life has taken an unexpected turn. Believe me, there are daily reminders of how different I am now; but scan time is big time scary time, mentally. It takes living with cancer to yet another level of heighten sense of mortality and anxiety.  […]

Patient Advocacy: Six Steps to Craft a Compelling Message

Patient advocacy involves sharing your unique knowledge and experience of a disease or condition with the ultimate aim of raising awareness and influencing people to create a desired change.  This might include speaking at an event, telling your story in the media, or working with an organization to develop new treatment guidelines.  This month’s post […]

What Does It Mean To Be An Empowered Patient?

The term “patient empowerment” is among the top buzzwords in health care circles, but as with many buzzwords, they can mean different things to different people.  The term is most often used to emphasize the value of having patients assert greater control over their health and health care.  WHO defines empowerment as “a process through […]

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hashtags in Healthcare…But Were Afraid To Ask!

If you are using social media to find and share health information, chances are high you are already using hashtags. Hashtags, a way for users to easily find similar themed content, are used regularly by millions of social media users, especially on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Chris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited with […]

Grief, Loss, and the Cancer Experience

“In a society which is much more inclined to help you hide your pain rather than to grow through it, is necessary to make a very conscious effort to mourn.” -Henri Nouwen Grief is a natural response to loss. While many people think of grief only as a reaction to bereavement, we can feel grief […]

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Patient Advocates

“Without doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness.” -Stephen Covey Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989 as a business and self-help book. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning ourselves to what he calls “true north” […]

Patient Advocacy: Understanding Your Illness

The news that you, or a loved one, has a serious illness can be a terrible blow.  You may be faced with an array of emotions ranging from shock to fear to anxiety. You will likely have many questions and concerns about what the coming days and months will bring, and the impact living with […]