Cooperatively, the South Dakota Department of Health and SDSU Extension are launching Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota (BCBH) in an effort to educate South Dakotans with chronic health conditions on ways to manage the impact of their disease on their daily lives. Individuals will learn coping skills to actively manage or co-manage their chronic condition and its impact on their lives.
The 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report entitled "Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action” concluded that the prevalence of chronic disease is reaching a crisis phase and there is not enough being done to help people maintain or improve their quality of life. The impact of chronic disease in South Dakota remains a significant concern with it accounting for the leading causes of death. Additionally, South Dakota has a significant aging population and chronic disease tends to increase in prevalence with age. The impact of chronic disease in South Dakota remains a significant concern. Chronic disease accounts for decreased quality of life, economic impact, and increased in need for health care services.
All South Dakotans who are 18 years of age or older living with chronic conditions and their caregivers could benefit from attending the Better Choices, Better Health workshops.
Public and Private Value
Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs (CDSMP), like BCBH, aims to empower individuals to take more responsibility of their health. In 2008 The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in partnership with the National Council on Aging on the issue of financial sustainability for evidence-based health programs for older adults reviewed Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) studies. They found that there is evidence that CDSMP results in reductions in healthcare expenditures and more appropriate utilization of healthcare resources. Furthermore, a coordinated statewide CDSMP effort can promote public policy in South Dakota to further support a shared goal of empowering individuals to take more responsibility for their health, address health disparities, and support other community level health interventions.
Delivery of the Better Choices, Better Health program will succeed though collaborative efforts with public and private partners to include, but not limited to, the South Dakota Department of Health, the South Dakota Department of Social Services, and sponsorship from community partners.
The Better Choices, Better Health workshops will be given two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks, in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries, clinics, and hospitals. Participants with different conditions attend the same workshop together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom have at least one chronic condition.
Subjects covered throughout the workshop include:
- Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation;
- Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance;
- Appropriate use of medications;
- Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health care professionals;
- Nutrition, and
- How to evaluate new treatments.
Further emphasis focuses on action planning, disease related problem solving, and decision making. Trained leaders follow a scripted Leaders Manual every time they facilitate a workshop. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participant’s confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.
The primary resources needed for implementation and sustainability of the Better Choices, Better Health ® SD program will be human resources including the certification of Master Trainers from a variety of communities across South Dakota and the training of Lay Leaders. Other necessary components include: CDSMP licensure, systemic participant recruiting and marketing efforts, professional support, community host sites, workshop materials, and continual quality assurance and fidelity strategies.
For more information about workshops being held in your region and to register, please contact:
- Megan Olesen, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist and the BCBH® SD Program Associate: 605.995.7382
- Lori Oster, Chronic Disease Nurse Consultant, BCBH® SD Coordinator: 605.627.3061