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Program for managing chronic illness expands nationwide

We've written in the past about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, a workshop developed in the mid-90s by Stanford's Kate Lorig, DrPH, that has since been taken by hundreds of thousands of patients and shown to yield $4 in savings for every $1 spent. Today the Wall Street Journal offers a look at the ubiquity of the program:

Now available in virtually every state, the six-week, 15-hour program is generally offered at little to no cost by a growing number of government agencies, nonprofits, hospitals and insurers. The workshops combine group discussions and activities with short lectures on topics including eating healthy, managing medication and using distraction techniques to manage pain.

But unlike most programs aimed at helping patients with chronic illnesses better manage symptoms and treatments, this one is mainly led by former participants themselves, who thus are also patients and have a close understanding of the challenges involved. The leaders are trained in a four-day course.


"When it comes to chronic care, in order for treatment to work, the patient needs to become very active in managing his or her health," says [Jay Greenberg, senior vice president for social enterprise at the National Council on Aging in Washington].

Previously: Diabetes prevention program trains youth in chronic disease self-management and Lawmaker proposes Medi-Cal coverage of Stanford chronic-disease program

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