Chronic disease self-management: a pilot training program for people with chronic conditions
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People suffering chronic conditions can be overwhelmed by their health problems. They may be discouraged that they will develop complications, or they may be struggling to cope with other personal and family issues. International research shows that when patients and their general practitioners (GPs) and other health care providers set goals together, and when patients gain management skills in a peer-led group, their knowledge and confidence increase, their health and quality of life improves, and they use fewer health services. This South Australian pilot replicated these findings, demonstrating that best practice in chronic condition management can succeed, even in rural areas with shortages of health professionals, busy GPs and smaller numbers of potential participants.