CanSMART brings together researchers, patients, caregivers, health care professionals and policy makers to translate self-management knowledge into improved health for Canadians, and a strengthened, more sustainable Canadian health care system.
Urgently Needed - A new generation of self-management programs for Canadians
Currently, very limited support for chronic disease self-management is available in Canada. Most group-based self-management programs are offered only in large cities, or at times and places that are not convenient for busy Canadians. Many of the best programs focus on specific diseases and symptoms, rather than the range of problems common across diseases. One in 4 Canadians lives with 2 or more chronic diseases; as this number grows rapidly, we need programs for people who manage several diseases at the same time.
We currently don't know enough about what approach works best for whom. Our goal is to identify and test innovative approaches that promise significant and measureable real-world impact.
Putting Patients First
Our research begins by engaging patients and family members to ensure that common problems and needs are prioritized and that realistic, innovative interventions are developed. CanSMART conducted a national survey of patients to identify groups of Canadians most in need of chronic disease self-management support. Click here to find out more.
Self-management defines what people with a chronic disease do (their action and behavior) to cope with the impact on their life. This includes working with caregivers and health professionals to become more confident and skilled in managing the disease.
People skilled in self-management techniques understand their disease; they are actively involved in their total care and assist in creating their care plan. They monitor and manage their condition and its physical, emotional, and social effects.