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An eHealth research program: Deploying tailored virtual interventions to support self-care of people living with a chronic health problem

The growing incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases is a major source of strain on the resources of the public healthcare system, which must offer a variety of treatments and services to meet the needs of individuals and families affected with these conditions. Daily life with a chronic health condition requires a great deal of self-management in order to accomplish a range of key tasks, such as monitoring and managing the condition’s signs and symptoms, detecting signs of worsening, integrating medication in one’s everyday routine, and adopting and maintaining  healthy behaviours. People living with a chronic disease need to be supported and better equipped to meet these challenges. Advances in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) afford an opportunity to develop novel self-management tools that are easy to use and access anytime and anywhere. Given the increased burden on these people and their families and on the healthcare system, it has become all the more important to seek out new solutions in order to facilitate access to tailored interventions geared to supporting not only patients in their daily life but also clinicians in their professional practice.

The goal of this research program is to develop, evaluate and transfer tailored virtual eHealth interventions as self-care support tools for people living with a chronic health problem.

Our work contributes to further knowledge of innovative nursing practices through the use of advanced technologies. Still very much experimental, our approach arises out of a context marked by the need to reorganize healthcare services and manage resource scarcity. However, the interventions that we are developing are meant to complement and not substitute traditional clinical follow-up. The aim is to ensure greater access to education and personalized coaching for target populations and to engage them in a process of self-learning and support with respect to their difficulties.