Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart, lung, or brain diseases, are a part of most Americans’ lives. People with chronic conditions, as well as their caregivers, live with and adapt to the presence of these diseases.
While people with chronic conditions or their caregivers can rely on health care providers for advice, prescriptions, and medical services, the ability to “self-manage” their day-to-day lives and the disease with which they live is very important. Valuable programs, which have been demonstrated to be effective through rigorous research, are available to educate people about self-management.
ACL’s new issue briefing documents the presence of chronic conditions in the U.S. population, discusses self-management programs generally, and then focuses on those programs that rely on peer leaders who educate small groups about chronic disease self-management. The issue briefing describes the research underpinning the successful testing, implementation, and scaling-up of this program in the U.S. Finally, it offers options for states and localities to consider related to implementing and sustaining chronic disease self-management programs.