Free six-week, step-by-step self-management workshops are offered to adults who are either living with or caring for someone suffering from a chronic condition, a cancer diagnosis, or diabetes. Classes are open to adults of all ages and abilities. All self-management programs are evidence-based and were originally developed at Stanford University. Health care providers and other health professionals, both at Stanford and in the community, have reviewed all materials in the workshop.
Programs feature the following:
- Small-group workshops — 12 to 16 participants
- 2.5 hours of time per session
- One session per week, for six weeks
- Community settings such as senior centers, places of worship, provider offices, libraries, and hospitals
- Rooms large enough for all participants to gather comfortably, plus space for two leaders and their materials
- Accessible locations
People with different chronic health conditions attend together to:
- Develop weekly action plans based on their needs
- Share experiences
- Help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program
Sessions are highly interactive and led by professionals.
Sessions focus on building skills, sharing experiences, and offering support. All programs are led by a team of professional lay leaders. Lay leaders are people from the community who have experience in dealing with the same difficulties as those who are participating in the programs. They have received comprehensive in-person training to deliver the program content from a highly detailed manual.
Self-management programs will not conflict with existing programs or treatments.
Programs are designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education that is often provided through accredited programs in hospital settings. The programs are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms, and to control how their health problems affect their lives. These programs have been rigorously evaluated and are found to be effective tools to help people with chronic health conditions. In addition, many people have more than one chronic condition. Self-management programs are especially helpful for them, as the programs give participants the skills to coordinate all the tools they need to manage their health and stay active in their lives.
Existing treatments are not altered. If the content of the course conflicts with instructions that participants receive elsewhere, they are advised to follow their health care provider’s orders. For medical questions, participants are referred to their health care provider.
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