Effichronic enlightens a new health paradigm in Europe
The results of this project obtained in five European countries, confirm the effectiveness of the new wellness model for chronic patients and their communities
Almost 3,000 people from vulnerable groups already use the Chronic Disease Self Management Programme (CDSMP) to improve their quality of life in complex environments
People can take control of their health with information and simple tools to prevent diseases and disseminate good practices in their communities. This has been demonstrated by using the CDSMP in four groups strategically selected according to their socioeconomic and cultural conditions.
This Asturian initiative supported by the European Union Health´s Programme (2014-2020) encourages less dependence on health care by putting people and their communities as the protagonists of their development by practising good habits to improve their quality of life.
Together in coordination with the Foundation for the Promotion of Applied Scientific Research and Technology in Asturias (FICYT), the Regional Ministry of Health and the Health Service of Asturias (SESPA) are leading this project whose objective is to verify the potential of the self- care management in populations with less prominence in health policies: Romani, inmate people, elderly and caregivers, and immigrants.This project has been developed in collaboration with the University of Valencia, the Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier (France), QISMET (United Kingdom), the Erasmus Medical Center (Holland) and the Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera (Italy).
The tools and knowledge acquired by Romani women with the CDSMP methodology have enabled them to become empowered as responsible for their own health and that of their families. Romani women are usually responsible for unpaid work and care in the household domain. The improvements in managing emotions and healthy training routines have resulted in a better individual lifestyle and improved communication within their network.
The program motivated us to take care of ourselves and make the necessary changes to improve our health
The implementation of the program with these groups is carried out through workshops that are held once a week with a duration of two and a half hours over six weeks. The programme focuses on a balanced diet, physical activity, relaxation techniques and emotion management among others. During the program, participants establish individual action plans and a commitment to take on small daily challenges to improve their health, all of them strengthened by group dynamics.
The intervention with inmates from the Therapeutic and Educational Units (UTE), the Social Insertion Center and the women’s module of the Asturias Penitentiary Center, in Villabona, has allowed them to personally overcome by the commitment of achieving goals to improve their eating and exercise habits, and to better manage relationships and communication. The support among peers within groups has been one of the milestones of the program that has been succesfully accomplished for the first time in Spain.
The first statistical results obtained six months after the intervention show a positive trend in the improvement of communication with health personnel, which leads to decreased medical errors, a less sedentary lifestyle with more physical exercise, a lower consumption of alcohol and a reduction of depressive symptoms.
We discovered a hidden potential we all have and can use in a very positive way
Our relationships have been strengthened, now we are more positive and dynamic
The program for elderly people has served this population to strengthen their community networks, especially in rural areas, encouraging them to deepen their neighborhood relationships and making them protagonists of their development. To better cope with chronic diseases, they learned relaxation and positive thinking techniques, as well as information on taking medicines adequately and tips to avoid falls.
Immigrants have been selected as a target group in the Effichronic project because of the strong impact on their health during the adaptation process to the life and culture of a new country. Due to this training, immigrants have progressively achieved greater well-being that has exceeded their initial expectations and their social relationships have improved by the creation of new networks of contacts that makes them feel integrated.
Effichronic also demonstrates the potential of alliances with actors and social entities to reach vulnerable population which have the greatest difficulties in accessing the health system. “Health care must break with hospital-centrism. With these results, we have verified that it is worth aligning with other actors to offer resources that improve the health of the vulnerable population”, says Marta Pisano, coordinator of Effichronic from the Regional Health Ministry of Asturias.
We learned how to leave worries behind to focus on having a healthy life
Acceptance in the five countries has been very successful by achieving an average satisfaction higher than 7 out of 10. In addition, over 70% of the surveyed participants perform at least one or more daily activities to improve their health and nearly 80% perceive that health problems no longer control their life.
These results support the efficiency and the benefical effects os the programme for vulnerable groups. These should be taken into account for the development of new European health policies focused on wellness. “We hope to achieve a paradigm shift in healthcare. We must put the focus not so much on curing, but on caring for people ”, explains Sergio Valles, General Director of Care, Humanization and Social and Health Care of the Regional Health Ministry of Asturias.
The cost and the efficiency in connecting the intervention groups is a key factor for the implementation of these policies. In this sense, Effichronic shows benefical effects in the reduction of healthcare costs due to “the reduction of visits to healthcare professionals, assistance to emergency services and hospitalization”, details Valles. Regarding social costs, the project also measures efficiency by avoiding losses due to absenteeism and maintaining work productivity, among other indicators.
The intervention programme used in Effichronic is based on the scientific methodology developed by Stanford University under the name “Taking control of your health.” In this sense, Effichronic assesses the effectiveness of self-management programs for chronic diseases in vulnerable groups and their impact on European health systems.of self-management programs for chronic diseases in vulnerable groups and their impact on European health systems.
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