Monia Vereecken has a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy (2006) and a master’s degree in health education and promotion (2011). She has worked as OT in a rehabilitation centre for people with multiple sclerosis and in higher education institutions as a researcher.
In 2016, she started working at UC Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) in Belgium. She has been involved in different research programs, all related to community-based care.
Development of an online tool to improve self-management in persons with a chronic illness
One of the major challenges in health care, is dealing with the increasing number of persons with a chronic illness. In answer to this challenge, different models have been proposed in which the person with a chronic illness is placed in a more prominent position. This brings us to patient empowerment and self-management. To become a valued self-manager, the person has to achieve different skills: having and using the information relevant to his situation, initiating and maintaining partnership with formal and informal caregivers, monitoring and managing signs or symptoms of the illness(es), managing the impact of the illness, adopting a self-management care plan agreed and negotiated in partnership with health professionals (shared decision-making), etc. In turn, health care providers support their patients/clients by providing information, coaching their patients/clients in order to achieve the goals they have set together, providing care that is coordinated, planned, proactive and flexible to fit with a person’s other commitments and pressures, etc.
In this research project, we aim to develop an online tool that supports persons with a chronic illness to become valued self-managers. First, we define the different components our online tool should contain, by completing a literature research, conducting a screening of existing tools (mostly targeting a specific population), organizing focus groups with persons with a chronic illness and by interviewing experts. Second, a prototype of the online tool is being developed. Third, this prototype is tested in two different populations: persons with chronic kidney disease and persons with a video game addiction.