Ohio State faculty members author article on NEJM Catalyst


By Tyler Griesenbrock
CATALYST scientific editor

Published March 13, 2019

A new entry on the New England Journal of Medicine’s sister site, NEJM Catalyst, written by Drs. Cynthia Sieck, Daniel Walker, and Ann Scheck McAlearney, faculty members of The Ohio State University’s own CATALYST – the Center for the Advancement of Team Science, Analytics, and Systems Thinking in Health Services and Implementation Science Research – and joined by Dr. Sheldon Retchin of the Ohio State College of Public Health, delves into the importance of understanding patients’ capacity for engagement.

The post, available at, “addresses why we need to focus on a patient’s capacity to engage and the context in which engagement occurs in order to improve our ability to engage patients in their care,” wrote Cynthia J. Sieck, PhD, MPH, the lead author for the piece.

Dr. Sieck recently received a $2.27 million grant, Total Engagement and Activation Measure (TEAM), from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new measure of the capacity for patients to engage in their health care.  

As proposed in the TEAM study, patients’ engagement in their care might include several factors, such as the actions patients are willing to take to benefit from health care, the confidence patients have in taking those actions, and patients’ access to the resources they need to completely participate in the care they are receiving.

In previous research studies led by Ann Scheck McAlearney, ScD, MS, Executive Director of CATALYST at Ohio State, members of the CATALYST team realized there wasn’t an existing measure of capacity for engagement that fit the needs of current research.

The NEJM Catalyst post is meant to advance the conversation around the importance of patients’ capacity to engage, a step beyond previous viewpoints that regarded patient engagement itself as an endpoint.

The rapid dissemination fostered by the blog is part of NEJM Catalyst’s goal; according to its website, NEJM Catalyst “brings health care executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians together to share innovative ideas and practical applications for enhancing the value of health care delivery.”

To read more about TEAM, Dr. Sieck’s work, and the work of CATALYST faculty that led to this post, visit