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Catalogue Item

Chronic Disease Self Management Programme

Organization: Stanford School of Medicine

Country: USA

Forum: Patient engagement

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program has been developed by the Patient Education Research Center at Stanford University. It is a 6 week training program, delivered through weekly workshops hosted in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. People with different chronic health problems attend together. These workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with chronic diseases themselves. Subjects covered include:

  1. techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
  2. appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance
  3. appropriate use of medications
  4. communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  5. nutrition
  6. decision making
  7. evaluating new treatments.

Each participant in the workshop receives a companion book and an audio relaxation CD. Classes are highly participative, making the most of mutual support and success to build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

A randomized controlled trial of 1000 people demonstrated that over a three year period, those who participated in the program experienced significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in hospital and had fewer outpatient appointments and hospitalizations. These data yield a cost to savings ratio of approximately 1:4.

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