People with HIV/AIDS disease need support and information to become effective managers of their own health. Chronic conditions require not just medical intervention, but behavioral intervention as well. Patients with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS disease play a large role in managing their conditions. Each patient is at a different place in the process, and appropriate interventions are driven, to a large extent, by each patient’s desired outcomes. In order to meet these needs, it is essential for patients to have the following:
- Basic information about HIV/AIDS disease and its treatment
- Understanding of and assistance with self-management skill building
- Ongoing support from members of the practice team, family, friends, and community
Self-management and adherence encompasses all the activities patients perform to control their illness, prevent future complications, and cope with the impact of both the disease and its treatment on themselves and others, and includes:
- Collaborative goal setting
- Monitoring of symptoms
- Lifestyle behaviors such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and smoking cessation
- Taking medication in the dose and frequency prescribed
- Communicating with the health care team, family members, and others
- Ongoing problem-solving to overcome potential barriers
People with chronic conditions must make ongoing adaptations in their daily lives as they face the many emotional and physical challenges their disease presents. Providers need to be sensitive to the role that families, caregivers, and communities play in different cultures. Better patient outcomes are achieved through use of evidence-based techniques that emphasize patient activation or empowerment, collaborative goal setting, and problem-solving skills.
The provider team can enhance its ability to support patients by using standardized assessments, which include questions about self-management knowledge, skills, confidence, supports, and barriers. The provider team can further support patient self-management efforts by emphasizing the role of the patient, by recommending and using effective interventions, and through the use of care-planning and problem-solving to help patients overcome barriers to self-management activities.
Changes for Improvement