As the prevalence of long-term illness increases, the demands on healthcare services change. The few hours per year that persons with long-term illness see healthcare professionals represent a mere fraction of their 24/7 lived experience of coping with their condition. Without patient participation no treatment can be carried out; thus healthcare services are co-produced.
This reality requires a shift from professional-oriented care toward patient-oriented supported self-care.
Co-care refers to the decisions and activities shared by patients, their informal caregivers, and professionals, aimed at achieving goals valued by the patient. Consequently, in contrast to involve patients in healthcare, healthcare needs to get involved in people’s self-care, to the extent that the patient needs and desires.
Making this shift, however, has been challenging for health care practice.
The programme is based on patient-driven co-care innovations and aims to study how new models of self-care and co-care are best implemented in everyday health care practice and patients’ lives, supported by eHealth.
Researchers collaborate closely with patients, their informal caregivers and healthcare providers, to ensure that the research meets patients’ needs.
The programme generates knowledge that enables people with long-term illness, their informal caregivers and formal healthcare providers to effectively engage in co-care.
This is urgent since two of today’s pressing health care challenges are the management of long-term illness and the lack of patient centeredness in health services.
By evaluating co-care approaches this programme will contribute to society by accelerating the implementation of co-care, thereby producing both knowledge and improved care that will reduce patient suffering as well as costs of healthcare.