Chronic diseases of the airways: contents and tools for productive interactions between empowered patients and proactive professionals

  • Main research unit: Centro de Investigação em Tecnologias e Sistemas de Informação em Saúde (CINTESIS/FM/UP)
  • Principal Investigator:  Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.
  • Researchers
    • Altamiro Manuel Rodrigues da Costa Pereira
    • João Carlos Winck Fernandes Cruz
    • Lia Paula Nogueira Sousa Fernandes
    • António Jaime Botelho Correia de Sousa
    • John Yaphe
  • Fellows
    • Ana Isabel Alves de Sá e Sousa
    • Mariana Gomes do Couto
  • Start date: 01.09.2010 | End date: 31.08.2013
  • Financing: € 198,716.00 (FCT)

Project description: The shift in the paradigm of healthcare delivery increasingly recognizes the participation of the patient in his own care. Beside the need for continuing medical education (CME), the importance given to patient education is increasing [Warsi 2004]. The models of delivery of care for chronic diseases emphasize on the patient’s participation in their own care and engaging them in decision-making [Kravitz 2001]. The Chronic Care Model defends the promotion of informed, empowered patients and families and prepared, proactive practice teams obtaining more productive interactions that lead to improved outcomes and reduced costs [Bodenheim 2002a, Bodenheim 2D02b]. In this way, education of both patients and physicians is the foundation for shared decision-making and self-management.

This explains the pertinence of a call for projects in the production and delivery of health information for both patients/general public and physicians/health students.

The Internet and related technologies represent a useful way to provide more contents (not only health information but also instruments for self-management) while reaching broader audiences.
Our proposal fits entirely in this call. We propose to develop contents and tools to be aggregated in a web platform. The contents, covering several aspects of the diseases, will be created in several formats. For each article, 3 versions will be developed, oriented to physicians/students, patients/public and audiences with limited literacy. Tools will be developed to promote shared medical decision, support disease assessment and monitoring. It is important to emphasize that we will apply standard web 2.0 technologies allowing users to be both consumers and producers of health information. Together with state- contents produced through strict procedures and continuous supervision, the input of the community will be encouraged. In this way we embrace the calls' objective to distribute reliable, high-quality health material but also to establish links between groups and among groups, fostering productive relations. Additionally we will promote online courses and self-evaluation tests in order to foster CME.

The research team has backgrounds in Allergy & Asthma, Pulmonary Medicine, Psychiatry and Primary care Medicine and expertise in patient education, behavioural change, e-health, production of online health contents, patient centred care and training of health professionals. Members of the team have, in the past, produced information contents and interactive online tool for both patients and doctors, in different settings, mainly in the area of asthma care.

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the areas where the team has the most experience. It is important to emphasize that COPD was among the 5 leading causes of death in the world in 2001 and is foreseen to be 5th in terms of burden of disease (measured in % of total disability-adjusted life years) in 2020 [Lopez 2006, Murray 1997]. In fact, respiratory disease burden is superior to that of diabetes or HIV/AIDS. The World Health Organization recognized the impact of chronic respiratory diseases by the creation of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) [WHO 2008]. Portugal shares this view and, additionally to the dispositions in the National Health Plan, our country has dedicated National Programmes for Asthma Control and for the Prevention and Control of COPD.

In this view, we intend to implement our knowledge and previous work in asthma and COPD but also expand the scope of our interventions, creating a broad set of contents and tools for chronic diseases of the airways, comprehending asthma, COPD, rhinitis and rhinossinusitis, interstitial lung diseases and cystic fibrosis. Finally, we would like to praise the possibility to embrace this project, acknowledging the fact that it is an area of research where little is done and opportunities are sparse.

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