The EU has funded an evaluation project for vulnerable people living with chronic health conditions in 5 European countries including the UK.

The project, called EFFICHRONIC, will implement the Chronic Disease Self – Management Programme (CDSMP) that was developed by Stanford University and has been established in the UK since 2002, where it is known as the Expert Patient Programme.

The main aim of the peer-led 6 week programme is that patients learn to take an active role in decision making about their care and greater responsibility for their health.

EFFICHRONIC will implement and evaluate the CDSMP in 5 different European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom) with a total sample of more than 2000 people with chronic diseases and their carers. The focus will be on vulnerable people who do not normally attend such programmes.

Chronic disease such as diabetes and arthritis are major challenges for healthcare in Europe – 35% of women and 25% of men are living with a chronic disease. The financial burden on the NHS is huge.

Among other outcomes EFFICHRONIC will provide cost-effectiveness analysis for the NHS and UK health policymakers.

The lead UK organisation for EFFICHRONIC is QISMET (the Quality Institute for Self-Management Education and Training).  QISMET’s aim is to improve self-management education.  It is unique in Europe in that it sets quality standards and accredits providers of education for people with long-term.

Graham Baker, Director of QISMET, says: “QISMET is delighted to have secured the funding for this important work from the EU. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme has a positive impact on people living with a long-term condition. There is now the opportunity to work with our European colleagues to determine the impact of the programme on the economic and financial sustainability of health systems and ultimately to learn how to better support vulnerable people who are struggling to manage their long-term health conditions”.