Self-management programme to help people living with long-term conditions

People living with long-term conditions are being invited to take part in a self-management programme using a support tool developed by Teesside University academics.

Dr Stephanie Kilinç and a team of academics from the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, have been working with Neuro Key and people with long-term conditions to create MyLifeTool, a resource to help and encourage people to manage and adapt to their condition as it impacts on their life.

Neuro Key is the working name for Tees Valley, Durham and North Yorkshire Neurological Alliance, which aims to improve the lives of people living with a neurological condition. Dr Stephanie Kilinç, is a registered health psychologist and a trustee of Neuro Key.

Participants are sought to take part in a new self-management programme starting at Teesside University this month (January 2020). It will involve people with long-term conditions using MyLifeTool and taking part in creative activities which support self-management.

Dr Kilinç said: "It doesn't matter what type of long-term condition you have, or if you have more than one condition. The programme is designed to support people with any long-term condition. During the sessions you would be guided and supported to take part in creative activities. This can be anything you feel comfortable with, like drawing, painting, writing poem, knitting or sewing."

Participants would need to be available to take part in six sessions over 12 weeks, with a session held every two weeks at Teesside University from January 2020. They'll also need to use MyLifeTool, which is based around the use of positive psychology, for the 12-week period and keep a diary of their experiences. Travel costs to the university will be covered and data anonymised.

Dr Kilinç is leading the project with Teesside University academics Dr Miglena Campbell and Dr Jillian Taylor, along with Joanne Cole, from Neuro Key.

She said: "The impact of long-term conditions can fluctuate and affect a person’s day-to-day life in so many different ways. The toolkit can be used whenever felt necessary by the individual. It's not just about coming to terms with having a condition or a diagnosis. It's a tool that can help the individual to live as well as they possibly can. It is much broader than the typical model of self-management, as it takes focus away on adhering to medication."

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