Patients who have figured out the “tips and tricks” of being adherent can truly help other patients
When a patient is able to hear the story of other patients, to hear how they have taken their medication and dealt with their disease, then he will feel less hesitant in facing his own medical problems
Health behavior theories show the importance of social support for treatment regimens adherence and improving health outcomes. Support groups enable discussion of sensitive personal issues, allow practical informational sharing, create a sense of community and make patients feel they are not alone.
We provide professionally operated support groups facilitated by professionals with experience, outside the hospital, in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. Each group, between 8 and 15 people, meets regularly and, through their dynamic interaction with each other, the participants learn about themselves and how to cope with the lifestyle and the behaviors conditioned by their illness.
Storytelling, a form of narrative communication, is useful because it breaks down cognitive resistance to behavior-change messages and positively impacts listeners adherence behavior. The objectives are to produce insight, correct a cognitive distortion or providing context for an unusual feeling or happening. The person who tells the story is a real patient who explains to others, with his own voice, what he went through, what he learnt and how he coped with the illness constraints. In that way, the story teller provides to listeners, the other patients, medically relevant behavior to model after.
A 2011 published study showed that culturally appropriate storytelling improved blood pressure for patients with baseline uncontrolled hypertension.
We have a solid methodology to develop patients’ stories, which are adapted to the local culture and to communicate them to other patients through websites, DVDs or printed materials.