Patient Education In the Department of Medicine
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Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Program

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The Cancer: Thriving and Surviving (CTS) Program is a workshop given two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks, in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are peers who are cancer survivors themselves.

Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, isolation, poor sleep and living with uncertainty, 2) appropriate exercise for regaining and maintaining flexibility, and endurance, 3) making decisions about treatment and complementary therapies, 4) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, 5) nutrition, 6) setting priorities, and 7) relationships. A Spanish translation of the program is also available.

Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition, and a relaxation CD, Relaxation for Mind and Body.

It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The program will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment. The program gives participants the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives and relationships.

How was the Program developed and evaluated?

The Cancer: Thriving and Surviving (CTS) Workshop was originally adapted from the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), at the Macmillan Cancer Support Trust in the United Kingdom.  It was tested for effectiveness in the UK and in the USA.  The primary developers of the current program are Kate Lorig, DrPH, and Diana Laurent, MPH, at Stanford, and Richard (Rick) Seidel, PhD, LCP, at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine..

How can my facility offer the Program?

Web-based cross-training is available through Stanford for those already trained in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). Because the program shares many of the basic techniques with the CDSMP, those new to our self-management programs must take in-person training for the CDSMP before being cross-trained in the CTS program. Training locations, dates and application can be found in the "Training" section of this website.


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