The patient’s self-management competences and preferences are adapted and improved iteratively.
Typically, chronic diseases strongly influence the daily life of patients and patient empowerment should address multiple dimensions that allow patients to effectively self-manage their disease. On the one hand self-management implies that patients should be able to make their own decisions regarding their diseases. On the other hand chronic diseases often demand a change of behaviours from the patients. Discussions with their physicians as well as the provision of information material can help patients to better understand their diseases, and assess possible treatments and alternatives with their benefits and disadvantages. Additional patient data (such as patterns of daily living or observations on medication) can provide further input to a personalised health care process.
Based on patient data and preferences, disease-related guidelines and patterns of daily living EMPOWER specifies Self-Management Pathways for diabetes patients in their self-control of vital and other diabetes-relevant parameters, by including recommendations from their physicians, in their effort of changing behaviour based on a personalised action plan. The Self-Management Pathways represent iterative cycles that can be adapted to the patients’ needs and also to their self-management competences and preferences by offering multiple services on different maturity levels.
Patients have different approaches to cope with chronic diseases and to include them in their daily life. EMPOWER will specify different maturity levels that will characterise the degree of competence of a patient, to manage his/her chronic disease without external assistance. Specifying which services assume which degree of competence (aka “maturity levels”) will then allow patients to select appropriate services based on their individual competences and preferences. Such quality criteria for self-management will also allow measuring the level of self-management and represents in this way a benchmark for Patient Empowerment.