ILLNESS AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT ACROSS LIFE SPAN:
Consider a 12-year-old and 75-year-old have one of the following illnesses:
- Heart Failure
- Describe the chronic illness trajectory for the selected illness based on the patient’s age.
- How does the chronically ill patient’s illness trajectory influence the plan of care?
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Disease management is defined as “a system of coordinated healthcare interventions and communications for populations with conditions in which patient self-care efforts are significant.”
For people who can access health care practitioners or peer support it is the process whereby persons with long-term conditions (and often family/friend/carer) share knowledge, responsibility and care plans with healthcare practitioners and/or peers. To be effective it requires whole system implementation with community social support networks, a range of satisfying occupations and activities relevant to the context, clinical professionals willing to act as partners or coaches and on-line resources which are verified and relevant to the country and context. Knowledge sharing, knowledge building and a learning community are integral to the concept of disease management. It is a population health strategy as well as an approach to personal health. It may reduce healthcare costs and/or improve quality of life for individuals by preventing or minimizing the effects of disease, usually a chronic condition, through knowledge, skills, enabling a sense of control over life (despite symptoms of disease) and integrative care. On the other hand, it may increase health care costs by causing high implementation costs and promoting the use of costly health care interventions.