Around one year ago, we started the design and development of the European Research and Innovation Centre on patient empowerment and self-management: Self-Management Europe (SME). Our ambition is to become a central place for health care professionals, policymakers and patients to look for knowledge and evidence on self-management interventions and empowerment and to share information and experiences on these topics.
In this way we want to create a network of researchers, health care professionals, developers, industry and other stakeholders whose common goal is to improve patient self-management and empowerment of patients with chronic diseases in Europe. SME is a spin-off of COMPAR-EU and initiated by four COMPAR-EU partners that all have a broad experience on self-management, patient empowerment and personalized health care: FAD, Nivel, OptiMedis and EPF.
SME aims to raise public, professional and political awareness of the critical role patients play in living with chronic disease by providing the most updated and innovative multidisciplinary knowledge about self-management interventions and empowerment and how to address these topics in Europe in policy and practice; SME wants to provide practical tools to encourage and support health care professionals to adopt SMI in their real life contexts; work with organizations and industry to develop approaches to incorporate SMI in practice; will organize training courses on implementing approaches which support patients’ self-management and empowerment, and make the expertise of experienced programs and interventions available to others.
During the last year we worked on a website and on a mission paper on SME (in progress). While we are looking for some structural funding to carry out the ambitious activities outlined above, we are giving small steps on some areas that, in our opinion, complement the work done in COMPAR-EU. The first dissemination activity of SME were two “ALERTS” for healthcare professionals, managers and other stakeholders looking for practical recommendations to implement practices that enhance self-management and patient empowerment. The first alert was on empowerment of patient to take an active role in health care, the second alert on health literacy.
Click here to read more about Self-Management Europe.
Monique Heijmans is a Health Psychologist and works as a Senior Researcher at Nivel since 1998. She is an expert in the area of (determinants of) self-management and chronic illness and has extensive research experience in the area of psychosocial factors and their interaction with health behavior and health.