Self-management programme to help people living with long-term conditions

People living with long-term conditions are being invited to take part in a self-management programme using a support tool developed by Teesside University academics.

Dr Stephanie Kılınç and a team from the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, have been working with Neuro Key and people with long-term conditions to create MyLifeTool, a resource to help and encourage people to manage and adapt to their condition as it impacts on their life.

Neuro Key is the working name for Tees Valley, Durham and North Yorkshire Neurological Alliance, which aims to improve the lives of people living with a neurological condition. Dr Stephanie Kilinç, is a registered health psychologist and a trustee of Neuro Key.

Participants are sought to take part in a new self-management programme starting at Teesside University in January 2020. It will involve people with long-term conditions using MyLifeTool and taking part in creative activities which support self-management.

Dr Kılınç said: “It does not matter what type of long-term condition you have, or if you have more than one condition. The programme is designed to support people with any long-term condition. During the sessions you would be guided and supported to take part in creative activities. This can be anything you feel comfortable with, like drawing, painting, writing poem, knitting or sewing.”

Participants would need to be available to

· Take part in six sessions over twelve weeks, with a session held every two weeks at Teesside University from January 2020
· Use MyLifeTool for the twelve-week period and keep a diary of their experiences of taking part in the programme
· Complete some questionnaires about their own wellbeing and take part in focus group with the other members of the group.

Travel costs to the University will be covered. All information retained would remain anonymous and personal details will remain confidential.

Dr Kılınç is leading the project with Teesside University academics, Dr Miglena Campbell and Dr Jillian Taylor, along with Joanne Cole, from Neuro Key.

She said: “The impact of long-term conditions can fluctuate and affect a person’s day-to-day life in so many different ways. The toolkit can be used whenever felt necessary by the individual.

“It is not just about coming to terms with having a condition or a diagnosis. It is a tool which can help the individual to live as well as they possibly can. It is much broader than the typical model of self-management, as it takes focus away on adhering to medication.”

She added: “This tool, which has been designed by people living with long-term conditions, can be used to help people move forward with their own personal journeys. It is all based around positive psychology.”

Find out more about MyLifeTool at