“Self-management relates to the tasks that an individual must undertake to live well with one or more chronic conditions. These tasks include gaining confidence to deal with medical management, role management, and emotional management”. (Adams, Greniner, & Corrigan 2004)
The common socio-economic circumstances existing in almost all Southern Europe countries affect the quality of life for people with RMDs and managing a chronic illness is a time consuming and complex process. Yet, rarely it is chronically ill patients themselves called on to involve in the management of the factors that contribute to their health. The need to face such a common problem in a more organized way and to empower patient organizations in offering their members efficient methods for reaching a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being led to the Partner In Treatment initiative. www://agora-pait.com/
Future challenges like changing mentalities of all stakeholders to be involved (patients, HPs and other decision makers), lack of funds and time, motivation, priorities, acting as a team, valuing the diversity of experiences and ideas within the practice and many other factors have been emphasized as barriers to overcome in an Agora Southern countries survey. Now let's find the solutions.
Writing a companion guide for disease management and communication with medical specialists, writing quick cards for both patients and HPs, uniting them in a common dialogue, speaking the same language, organising a course for training trainers in self-management, offering financial support for translating the materials are just the first important steps (guided and supervised by Agora association) in overcoming the barriers and implementing such a course in Southern European countries.
The battle of the Southern countries has started. And this is a special battle because there will only be winners at the end process because we fight for enabling people to increase control over the disease and to improve their health.
Whatever team you are playing in (patients, rheumatologists, HPs, researchers in medicine, decision makers, industry, pharma, psychologists, consultants in healthy living and personal development etc.) you are most welcome to join the presentation and help promote self-management and healing because the best way to get something done is to begin.
Disclosure of Interest None declared