Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Patient Control

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_130


This is a central issue in behavior medicine, since it relates to models of stress, to patient behaviors and outcomes, and has vast clinical implications. Patient control (PC) can reflect both subjective or perceived control, as well as objective control. The perceived control can be understood as one’s subjective appraisal of the ability to influence outcomes in a situation. Perceived control reflects a secondary appraisal process in general stress models (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Taylor, 1995). In contrast, objective control reflects the externally determined and externally validated level of control over a situation. Thus, objective PC is accurate, while subjective PC refers to subjective levels of control, and thus, could also be inaccurate. Subjective PC is a crucial predictor of health behaviors in the theory of planned behavior, showing a relation to behavior either directly or via intentions. For example, subjective PC has been shown to be important in choice over...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyFree University of Brussels (VUB)JetteBelgium