Biloxi VA Offers Free Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for Veterans

Contributor: Rachael Thomas
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Updated: 2/10 1:23 pm
The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System will begin a free, six-week Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program on its campus starting at 1 p.m. on March 4.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is an evidenced-based approach to the self-management of chronic disease. The program consists of a workshop given over 2.5 hours, once a week (on Tuesdays), for six weeks. Veterans with different chronic health problems attend together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders. Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, 2) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, 3) nutrition, 4) decision making, brainstorming, problem solving and creating action plans.

Benefits of the program include significant improvements in the following aspects of wellness and health care: cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. Patients who participated in the program also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was also a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations for up to three years.

Interested Veterans who are able to attend all six sessions in a row starting on March 4 should call Laura Pistey at 1-800-296-8872, ext. 32212 to register for the program.
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