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Personal Action Toward Health (PATH)

PATH is Michigan’s name for the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

The PATH program is a workshop developed and tested at the Stanford Patient Education Research Center. More than 1,000 people with chronic health conditions were followed in a randomized, controlled study for up to three years. Participants in the study that took the program compared to those that did not, have self-reported improvements in general health, fatigue, commutation with physicians and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital and showed a trend of fewer outpatient visits.

Adults with different chronic health conditions attend the highly interactive workshop that introduces skills needed for day-to-day self-management of chronic health conditions. The group setting provides an atmosphere where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. PATH is facilitated for two and a half hours a week, once a week, for six weeks. Over the six weeks, emphasis is placed on creating personal, practical and achievable goals.

Session 1

  • The mind-body connection/ distraction
  • Getting a good night’s sleep
  • Action plans

Session 2

  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Preventing falls and improving balance

Session 3

  • Making decisions
  • Pain and fatigue management
  • Endurance exercise relaxation: body scan

Session 4

  • Better breathing
  • Healthy eating
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving

Session 5

  • Making healthy hood choices
  • Medication usage
  • Making informed treatment decisions
  • Dealing with depression
  • Positive thinking

Session 6

  • Working with your healthcare professional
  • Weight management
  • Looking back and planning for the future

The PATH program is facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom have a chronic condition themselves.

The PATH program does not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and non-disease specific education such as diabetes instruction. PATH is especially helpful for participants who have more than one chronic condition, as the program provides skills necessary to coordinate and maintain all aspects of their health and keep them living active lives. Caregivers and/or family members are encouraged to attend the workshops.

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