Montpellier: at CHU therapeutic education supports chronic diseases

For years, the Montpellier University Hospital has offered 68 therapeutic patient education programs (ETP) for as many chronic diseases (allergies, Alzheimer’s, low back pain, osteoarthritis, etc.). A still unknown long-term support that will benefit, this April, from a poster campaign supported by the City Council, the CPAM and liberal medicine.

Take better care of yourself. Whatever your pathology. Beyond the purely medical and technical aspects, the Montpellier University Hospital has been developing therapeutic patient education programs (ETP) for some twenty years. “It’s about how to better take treatments but also how to manage food, stress, sleep better, do physical activity…” Dr. Xavier De La Tribonnière, head of the unit for therapeutic patient education (UTEP) at Montpellier University Hospital, details a truly global approach.

“The goal is really to improve the quality of life. The patient gains autonomy, in relation to health professionals, of course.” Doctor Xavier De La Tribonnière insists “in a greater empowerment of the patient that results in the possibility of resilience. Becoming another me with the disease”.

Programs from 3 months to one year

All this implies a structured and prolonged program led by a multidisciplinary team (doctors, nurses, health managers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc.). “Initially the patient explains his knowledge, his beliefs. We also explore his projects before setting goals, a personalized program before a progress report. The program can last between 3 months and a year. It all depends on the pathology.

An unknown process. Hence the launch of a CHU poster campaign – scheduled until Friday April 15 – with partner patients (four, of different ages and pathologies, appear on the flyers) supported by the City of Montpellier and the CPAM (primary insurance fund of health). The campaign is aimed at both patients and the general public and health professionals in the metropolis.

A poster and four different flyers.

ETP’s dissemination campaign is based on a poster and four flyers. We see the grimacing faces of four patients with the (common) catchphrase: “I’m so sick! So what?” Whether it is Emma (8 years old) who has been living with her diabetes for a year; Léa (15) epileptic for five years; Stéphane (38 years old) with a respiratory disease for three years and Gérard (74 years old) with a heart disease for eleven years. On the back of each brochure, a QR code allows you to find a suitable therapeutic education program. And near his house.

This visibility effort is based on actual experience as well as expertise from Montpellier. “ETP programs started with diabetes and respiratory diseases and now extend even to rare, psychiatric and childhood diseases.” Doctor Xavier De La Tribonnière specifies that “The WHO (World Health Organization) defined ETP programs in 1996-1998 before being absorbed by the 2009 law known as HPST for the hospital patient health territory which included it in the public health code. France is one of the only countries in the world to have made this choice.

Transforming the patient-caregiver relationship

A choice that works. As Asia explains. This young woman, a former emergency room nurse, had a serious traffic accident a few years ago. After three months in intensive care, twenty operations and months of rehabilitation, Assia was able to pick up the thread of her life thanks to an ETP program despite multiple sclerosis. “The pathology is there, of course. But I manage to be myself, living with my illness like eleven million people in France. The goal of the game is to transform the patient-caregiver relationship.”

“When I was a caregiver, I did what the system expected of me. But, once I got to the other side, I told myself that it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted. It is important to accompany the patient between diagnosis and home, this is really what therapeutic education allows”.

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