Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

Committee Member

Dr. Kristen Okamoto, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Pyle

Committee Member

Dr. D. Travers Scott


Patient engagement studio models exist to create a platform for patients to offer input on research projects at health systems and academic health centers. While these models are gaining popularity, little research exists that captures the benefits for participants. In this ethnographic study, I examined the benefits of patient engagement for participants at a large Southeastern academic health center. Through individual interviews and field observation, I sought to understand the experiences of patients and what they gained, and how those benefits could be applied to other health care settings. Patients’ responses in interviews and actions in each studio indicated that the following benefits exist: education, empathy, and empowerment. These benefits often worked in relation with each other, as well as offered additional insight on positive patient-physician communication models and effective communication channels in health care.