Sunday, August 07, 2005

Finding EXPERT PATIENT/ CHRONIC DISEASE SELF-MANAGEMENT programs in the United States

Hope that all of you had an excellent week-end. I haven't had the opportunity to add to the blogs recently, as my Mother-in-law recently died, and her Memorial Service was conducted last Thursday. The Service was tastefully done, with both my son and daughter participating.

This event, coupled with the heat wave (in the 90's!!!) kept me hunkering down to conserve my energy. Those of you who HATE HEAT like I do, know the need to avoid being in the heat!

When I again checked my emails, I was delighted to find an update from the United Kingdon's website describing the recent results of their Expert Patient "Programme" (note the English spelling - they do spell differently "accross the Pond", although they probably accuse us as the ones who are different!!)

Here is the information:
The purpose of eUpdate is to inform people about new developments within the Expert Patients Programme such as new publications, forthcoming events and news from the national team.

The EPP is a NHS lay led self-management programme for people living with any long-term health condition(s). Groups of 8-16 participants, with a mix of different conditions, meet over six weekly sessions and are led through a structured course by trained tutors who are also living with a long-term condition. Each session (lasting two and a half hours) looks at ways to better manage the effects of their long-term condition. For more information about the EPP please visit the EPP website at www.expertpatients.nhs.uk

EPP PILOT INTERNAL EVALUATION
Internal evaluation data from approximately 1000 EPP participants who completed the course between Jan 2003 and Jan 2005 indicates that the programme is achieving its aims in:

1) Providing significant numbers of people with long term conditions with the confidence and skills to better manage their condition on a daily basis.
- 45% said they felt more confident that they would not let common symptoms (pain, tiredness, depression and breathlessness) interfere with their lives.
- 38% felt that such symptoms were less severe 4 - 6 months after completing the course.
- 33% felt better prepared for consultations with health professionals.

2) Providing significant reductions in service usage by people with long term conditions completing the EPP course.
- 7% reductions in GP consultations
- 10% reductions in Outpatient visits
- 16% reductions in A&E attendances (US note: note sure what this is.)
- 9% reductions in Physiotherapy use

Over 94% of those who took part felt supported and satisfied with the course.

These results look GREAT to me! If you want to sign up to receive periodic updated information about what the Brits are doing, you too can sign up to receive an "eUpdate" as they call them. It is FREE, and you can sign up by going to: www.expertpatients.nhs.uk.

This got me thinking about us in the US. Where can we find "Expert Patient" programs so that we can get the same results? Well, back to the Internet I went, and here's what I found.

1) First of all, on our side of "The Pond" we call the programs "Chronic Disease Self-Management" programs instead of "Expert Patient Programmes". Also, although the Brits offer their course via the Internet, to sign up, you have to live in England. Here in Oregon, we are probably as far from England geographically as we can get, so I guess that option is out for me!
2) The best site I could find where y'all could check out programs in your state was from the original Stanford site: http://patienteducation.stanford.edu/programs/cdsites.html If you go to this site, you can click onto your state and see which organizations in your state are licensed to offer the Chronic Disease Self-Management program.
3) And, if, like me, you find 12 sites in your state, you can begin to figure out one that might be appropriate for you. I decided to start with my home county, and looked up the info. I then called the appropriate person to get specifics. As it turns out in my state, they appearently are not yet offering courses for "regular folks" like me, more for State and County folks. BUT, they apparently had a recent course that was offered to representatives from local Chronic Disease Associations, and thought that they might be offering classes for us folks.

I haven't yet had the time to follow-up with the local Health Insurance Companies to see what they offer. When I do, I'll let you know what I find.

Again, if anyone wants to comment and/or ask questions, please feel free to do so, and they will be answered as soon as I can.


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