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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Who is the program for?

It is for individuals across Ontario who are living with one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, respiratory disease, kidney disease, chronic pain, cancer, or any type of long-term physical or mental health issues. Family, friends, and caregivers of someone who has a chronic condition are also welcome.

Is the program suitable for everyone?

The program is highly interactive and asks participants to set goals and participate in discussions, so the program may not be suitable for individuals not willing or able to participate in this way. For instance, the program may not be appropriate for someone with dementia or memory impairment. However in these cases family members or friends may benefit by learning self-management skills in order to help support others and take care of themselves.

What does it cost to participate?

Participation is FREE, and participants will receive a copy of the Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions course book.

Who developed the program?

The Online Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a licensed program developed at Stanford University. The program is evidence-based and follows a standardized format that has been proven to help participants learn to better manage the symptoms of chronic disease. The program is considered a best practice program in self-management.

Do I need to be referred to the program?

No. While some people are referred, anyone who is interested is welcome to participate.

How many people are in a workshop?

There are about 25-28 individuals participating together in one workshop. This allows for dynamic discussion and interaction among the group of participants.

Does this program replace existing programs?

The online workshop does not conflict with existing treatments or programs, and is designed to enhance disease-specific education. The program may be especially helpful to individuals who are living with more than one chronic condition, providing them with the skills and confidence to better manage their health.

Do I need to participate every week over the six-week period?

While no one is forced to participate, the workshop is based on the idea of learning and practicing new skills. You can participate without having to share anything overly personal, and can also choose to remain anonymous on the site.  

What are the differences between the online and in-person workshops?

The content between the two programs are consistent as are the benefits and outcomes experienced by participants. The main difference lies in how the programs are delivered.

Participants from the in-person workshops meet for 2 ½ hours once per week for six weeks at a specified location and workshops are led by two trained peer leaders. The online workshops also run for six weeks and participants log on for a total of about 2 hours per week. However, participants can log on at their own convenience and do not need to be online at any specific time during the length of the workshop. The content is available on the site and updates each week at the same pace as the in-person workshops.

Additionally, the content is not ‘taught’ by peer leaders as it is in the in-person workshops. The material is more self-directed with participants reading text and listening to audio clips. The role of the facilitators in the online workshops is more of a moderator who will participate in discussions when appropriate and assess the action plans of the participants.

Can I access the program from a tablet or mobile device?

The program can be accessed from a mobile device; however the workshop site is not optimized for mobile platforms at this time and may be easier to navigate on a computer.