Better Choices, Better Health® (BCBH) is a 6-week small group workshop offered on a dedicated website to help people living with chronic conditions to manage them better. BCBH is an online version of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed at Stanford University (called PATH in Michigan). It has been thoroughly evaluated and found to be effective at increasing health behaviors and reducing negative health indicators and health care utilization. Classes are offered through Canary Health and consist of about 25 people per workshop, with participants located across the country.
How it Works
BCBH does not require “real time” attendance, meaning you can log on anytime throughout each week that works best for you. A pair of trained peer facilitators moderate each workshop. Each week, participants are asked to log on around three times for a total of one and a half to two hours. Weekly activities include reading (both online and supplemental reading from a provided book), interacting with other participants, making and posting a weekly action plan, participating in problem solving and guided exercises on bulletin boards, and participating in any appropriate self-tests and activities. Participants are encouraged to post chronic disease-related problems on a bulletin board and help other group members with their problems.
BCBH will be offered through grant funding from January 2020 to December 2021 at no cost to adults who reside in Michigan and have access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone with internet. Participants must meet the following criteria:
• Adults age 50+ years living with a chronic condition (e.g. arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, depression, kidney disease, etc.)
• An adult with a serious mental, emotional, or physical disability (examples: serious memory challenges, difficulty walking, difficulty running errands alone) or serious vision or hearing loss.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Will my attendance in BCBH or information that I share during the workshop be automatically communicated to my health care providers?
A: No, the information that you share during the workshop will not be communicated to your health care providers. You are encouraged to talk with your providers about your participation in the workshop.
Q: What are the benefits to me from participating in BCBH?
A: Program participants report benefits such as: fewer symptoms, better communication with health care providers, a greater sense of control over their health, increased physical activity, and better general health. You will learn about making an action plan, relaxation techniques, dealing with difficult emotions, fitness/exercise, better breathing, eating well, communication, fatigue/pain monitoring, medication management, and more. Furthermore, you will have opportunities to problem solve with others living with chronic conditions who are going through similar experiences.
Q: Can I participate in BCBH on my phone?
A: Yes, you can participate on your smart phone. The content will adjust to the size of the screen you are using (computer, tablet, or smart phone). However, reading program content and typing responses on the bulletin board may be easier to do from a computer or tablet.