Supporting behaviour changes

Patients can develop personalised action plans which include recommendations from the treating physicians and patients’ preferences

The consequences of suffering from a chronic disease such as diabetes are not confined to medical aspects. Suffering from a chronic disease may also change life roles (e.g. increased self-control of diabetes-relevant parameters, changing eating habits or the demand of increasing physical activities) and patients may have to cope with new emotional symptoms such as fear or depression. Therefore, to cope properly with diabetes, patients must be informed sufficiently about their disease and possible consequences in order to adjust their lifestyle and behaviour and in order to make proper day-to-day decisions in relation to their disease. In this context, the changing of existing behaviour sustainably is one of the most challenging aspects of self-management and this will be supported by EMPOWER with an Action Plan including short-term actions which allows patients to change behaviour step-by step in a continuous process and at their own pace. Typically an action plan covers a period of 1-2 weeks and is behaviour specific. At the same time each action has to be realistic meaning that a person should be able to accomplish the planned action in the defined period.

The core component of EMPOWER to support changes of behaviour is the Action Plan including short-term actions. The actions will be based on recommendations from the treating physicians (who – in turn – will follow relevant best practice guidelines), personalised long-term goals, diabetes-relevant information material and the patients’ preferences. In addition, actions can be related to reminders in order to bring an action timely into the patient’s mind. The Action Plan is not a guarantee that patients will execute their actions, but it supports patients to integrate the actions in their daily life.