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Online Tool Allows Patients to Better Manage Chronic Illnesses

Individuals suffering from chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, bronchitis or emphysema, now have an online resource to help them learn how to better manage their disease and improve their health. The tool, Better Choices, Better Health™, is being offered free of charge by OASIS, a national education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults age 50 and older through health and wellness, education and enrichment programs.

Better Choices, Better Health is an online version of the internationally recognized Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), developed and tested at the Stanford University Patient Education Research Center. The six-week online workshop provides users with information on a broad range of topics, from an overview of self-management and chronic health conditions to action plans, how to deal with emotions, depression and fatigue, exercise and nutrition, medication management and how to work with healthcare professionals.

To complete the workshop, participants must log on to the website for two hours each week and complete readings and interactive learning exercises via the Better Choices, Better Health Learning Center. Included in the interactive learning plan are weekly action plans, problem solving and guided online exercises and other self-tests and activities. Participants are also encouraged to post their disease-related problems on the website’s bulletin board and help other group members with problems they encounter.

Trained peer facilitators moderate each workshop. They are available to facilitate discussions, monitor participation, answer questions, assist program participants with problem solving and ensure that individuals who are seeking specific medical advice turn to their healthcare provider.

For those individuals without Internet access or who prefer to attend a workshop in person, OASIS also offers a classroom version of the class, Living a Healthy Life.

For more information or to register for either of the OASIS programs, visit www.oasisnet.org/betterchoices.

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