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  • IOM Outlines Strategies for 'Living Well' With Chronic Illness

    To improve the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses, models of chronic disease care should align the resources of community-based organizations, the health care delivery system, employers and businesses, the media, and the academic community, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

    Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Action lays out a framework to guide the development and implementation of cross-cutting strategies that reduce the individual and societal burdens of chronic illness by helping people with chronic illnesses live well.

    Key findings of the report include:

    • All chronic illnesses hold the potential to worsen the overall health of the nation by limiting an individual's capacity to live well.
    • Evidence-based interventions aimed at preventing chronic disease (such as ending smoking, eating nutritious food, and limiting weight gain) need to be studied in people with 1 or more chronic illnesses to assess their effectiveness.
    • While a range of public policies have helped people with chronic illnesses, it is important to design and implement new public policies or explore promising approaches to further promote living well with chronic illnesses.
    • Enhanced collaboration among the public health, health care, and community nonhealth care sectors could produce better prevention and treatment outcomes for people living with chronic disease.

    IOM does not recommend a specific set of illnesses on which to focus public health action. Instead, it identifies 9 “exemplar” conditions that are diverse yet have various factors in common, including significant effects on the nation's health and economy. The conditions are arthritis, cancer survivorship, chronic pain, dementia, depression, type 2 diabetes, posttraumatic disabling conditions, schizophrenia, and vision and hearing loss.

    Two education sessions at PT 2012 will address the management of chronic illness. The Role of Physical Therapists in Public Health: Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease and Disability will be held June 8, 1 pm-3pm. The Management of Older Individuals With Chronic Illness: A Case-based Approach will be held June 8, 3 pm-5 pm.   

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