The Relationship Between Race, Patient Activation, and Working Alliance: Implications for Patient Engagement in Mental Health Care

Johanne Eliacin, Jessica M. Coffing, Marianne Matthias, Diana J. Burgess, Matthew Bair, Angela L. Rollins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This study explored the relationship between race and two key aspects of patient engagement—patient activation and working alliance—among a sample of African-American and White veterans (N = 152) seeking medication management for mental health conditions. After adjusting for demographics, race was significantly associated with patient activation, working alliance, and medication adherence scores. Patient activation was also associated with working alliance. These results provide support for the consideration of race and ethnicity in facilitating patient engagement and patient activation in mental healthcare. Minority patients may benefit from targeted efforts to improve their active engagement in mental healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 1 2016



  • African-Americans
  • Mental health
  • Patient activation
  • Patient engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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