Take Control of Your Health

The Take Control of Your Health workshop is given two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks, in various community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. People with different chronic health problems attend together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained Peer Leaders, one or both of whom have chronic diseases themselves.

Subjects covered 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) nutrition, 6) decision making, and, 7) how to evaluate new treatments.

Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions. It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Developed by Stanford University, the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is grounded in individual behavior change, and has demonstrated in clinical trials to positively impact health and quality of life.  It is an internationally recognized evidence-based disease prevention program

Benefits for Participants
Chronic Disease Self-Management is an effective compliment to the clinical work performed by health care professionals.  While professionals educate their patients on what they need to do to manage their health conditions, through CDSMP, patients develop the skills to effectively act upon practitioner recommendations.  The program is based on self-efficacy theory and emphasizes problem solving, decision-making, and confidence building.

Does the Workshop replace existing programs and treatments?
CDSMP/Take Control of Your Health workshops do not conflict with existing programs or treatments. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education.

Workshop Goal – Helps people of all ages with chronic conditions and their caregivers

  • Choose healthy behaviors they would like to follow and strategies for incorporating these behaviors into their daily lives.
  • Improve participants’ health status – they report feeling better (up to 12 months after class)
  • Decrease number of days hospitalized and emergency room visits