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Better Choices, Better Health (Online CDSMP)

Better Choices, Better Health is an online workshop where a small group of people with a variety of ongoing health conditions work together over 6 weeks to improve their quality of life!

Learn how the BCBH Workshops work!

Workshops are facilitated by two trained facilitators, one or both of whom live with a chronic health condition themselves.

Topics 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) healthy eating
6) making informed treatment decisions
7) disease related problem solving
8 ) advanced directives

It is the process in which the online workshop is presented that makes it unique. Sessions are highly participatory through internal messaging and online discussion boards, where mutual support and success builds the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Each workshop is 6 weeks with new lessons each week. Participants are asked to log on at their convenience 2-3 times each week for a total of about 2 hours. There are no requirements that participants log in at the same time. The companion book for the workshop is provided FREE when you register for an online workshop.

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The online workshop will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education such as Better Breathers, cardiac rehabilitation, or diabetes education. In addition, many people have more than one chronic condition. The program is especially helpful for these people, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives.

How was the Program developed?

The workshop is the online version of the community-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), which was developed and evaluated during a five-year randomized, controlled research project completed in 1996. Development and evaluation of the online program was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Archstone Foundation.

The process of both the online and community-based workshops are based on the experience of the investigators and others with self-efficacy, the confidence one has that he or she can master a new skill or affect one’s own health. The content of the workshop was the result of focus groups with people with chronic health problems, in which the participants discussed which content areas were the most important to them.

How was the online program evaluated?

We recruited 958 adult study participants in 2002-2003. All participants had a diagnosis of heart disease (excluding uncomplicated hypertension), lung disease, or type 2 diabetes. Qualified participants were randomly assigned to either participate in the workshop or to a control group. Both groups completed 3 online questionnaires about their health status, health care utilization, self-efficacy and self-management behaviors over a 12-month period. The control group did not receive the workshop, but received a gift certificate after completing each questionnaire and the book used in the workshop* at the end of the 12-month period. All data went to a secure, encrypted server dedicated to this study. This ensured privacy of our participants. This study is complete, and is currently available for licensing. Results have been published.**

Is the program being offered in Arizona?

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has licensed the Better Choices, Better Health™ program.  Currently, Arizona is offering the BCBH program in Maricopa County through a grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. To register for a workshop, please click here or copy and paste the following link https://selfmanage.org/azlivingwell/hl/hlMain.

*Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions (3rd edition) by Lorig, Holman, Sobel, Laurent, González and Minor (2006) can be ordered from Bull Publishing.
**Lorig KR, Ritter PL, Laurent DD, Plant K. Internet-Based Chronic Disease Self-Management: A Randomized Trial. Medical Care, 44(11), 964-71, 2006.

Citation : Patient Education via Stanford.edu

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