At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
You can take a course to help manage your time, your money, your credit, even your children. So why not take a course to learn how to manage a chronic disease?
Sound strange? Not really.
Learning how to manage a chronic medical condition is not intuitive. No one is born automatically knowing how to best deal with ongoing and unpredictable physical symptoms, how to control stress, how to solve complicated medical problems, or the best way to juggle medications. Yet these are all skills that someone with a chronic disease must pick up as they go. Most learn through trial and error, but the learning curve is not smooth. It results in a lot of lost time—something that once it’s gone, can never be retrieved.
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
A few years ago researchers at Stanford University helped to develop a course, The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). It was a 6-week program (2.5 hours per week) for individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and arthritis. The aim of CDSMP was simple: help patients deal with problems such as fatigue, pain and isolation. It provided tips on exercise, healthy eating and nutrition, the use of medications, and how to communicate effectively with family, friends and health professionals about a chronic condition.
At the end of the pilot, all course participants experienced significant improvements in:
✔ cognitive symptom management
✔ communication with doctors
✔ health status (fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, and depression)
They also had fewer emergency room visits.
And these results weren’t just short term; the participants reported these types of benefits more than a year after the course had ended.
What This Means for Chronic Disease Patients
Chronic diseases are difficult to live with. It’s a cycle of being inconvenienced, frustrated, overwhelmed and not always knowing where to turn to for help. Dealing with an ongoing, unpredictable medical condition can interfere with work, romance, social life, family relationships and more. If you’ve got a chronic condition, you might wonder if you’re doing the right things, if you’re speaking to the right people, and if you’re managing your condition in the most effective way possible.
Based on the success of the CDSMP, it might be worth taking a short course on chronic disease management. In-person workshops are often held in community centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. They’re usually either free or offered at a very reasonable price.
For chronic gastrointestinal conditions (IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, celiac), ask your HR department at work about the GIThrive® program from Vivante Health. Empowerment courses for managing a condition are all completed in private from a phone or computer. The GIThrive program is usually covered at 100%, not out-of-pocket cost to employees and covered dependents. Inside the GIThrive app, human Care Teams comprised of experts like dietitians, pharmacists and life-work coaches are always just a tap away for real-time chatting via phone or IM.
About Vivante Health
Vivante Health is an innovative digital healthcare company reinventing the way chronic conditions are managed, starting with digestive disease. Our all-in-one gut health program, GIThrive, empowers people—through brilliant technology and advanced science—to improve their digestive health, while lowering their cost of care. Learn how employers and health plans are saving money with GIThrive.
Original Article: Effect of a Self Management Program on Patients with Chronic Disease