What is Tools for Better Health?

Tools for Better Health Logo

What is Tools for Better Health?

Tools for Better Health
is known nationally as the Chronic
Disease Self-Management Program
developed at Stanford University

Tools for Better Health is a highly interactive program where people of various chronic conditions come together to learn and practice new skills over a six week period to manage their chronic condition.  The participants meet once a week for 2 ½ hours to discuss and problem solve a variety of topics relevant to coping with chronic conditions.  The topics discussed include but are not limited to:

            Learning how to become more physically active safely
            Learning how to make healthy food choices
            Learning how to communicate with family, friends and the health care team
            Learning how to become an active member of the health care team
            Learning how to deal with difficult emotions, frustration and anger
            Learning how to set and achieve weekly action plans
            Learning how to identify and solve problems caused by having a chronic condition

The discussion is facilitated by two trained leaders who guide the participants through four to six topics each week.  Participants are encouraged to share their successes in dealing with a variety of topics so participants can learn from each other and build their confidence in dealing with their chronic condition.  Participants do not learn the medical aspect a disease but rather how to manage the emotional, physical and social challenges of having a chronic condition.  Family members and/or friends of participants are encouraged to attend the workshop in order to increase their understanding of the challenges associated with living with a chronic condition on a daily basis.
            Living a healhty life with chronic conditions
The workshops are appropriate and beneficial for anyone dealing with an ongoing chronic health condition, family members or caregivers.  Workshop participants receive the “Living a Healthy Life with a Chronic Conditions” book that is a resource for additional information beyond the workshop topics.  The primary conditions covered in the book include but are not limited to the following:
            Heart Disease
            Lung Disease



Upon completion of the workshop, participants have experienced one or more of the following results:
Matketing to Laugh
            Reported increased physical activity
            Showed improvement in cognitive symptom management
            Improved communication with physicians
            Reported improved general health
            Reported decreased health distress
            Reported decreased fatigue, disability and social/role activities



To read some of the successes participants have shared with their leaders and the Kansas Arthritis Program please go to the success stories link on the left side of this webpage.

What is Stepping On?

To find a workshop in your area go to Tools for Better Health participants workshop schedule.

    Who leads the Tools for Better Health workshops?

Teaching a Workshop

The workshops are lead by people like you, individuals with a chronic condition that have completed the workshop and are successful self-managers.  They have learned and adopted the skills they were introduced to and are excited about sharing their knowledge and skills with others. 

The workshops are offered and sponsored by organizations you are familiar with and trust.  These organizations have a vested interest in improving the lives of individuals with chronic conditions.  Workshop leaders are either staff members or clients with a chronic condition or a combination of the two.

Leaders are trained by individuals that have been trained by the workshop developers at Stanford University.  Leader training is four days over the course of two weeks.  The Kansas Arthritis Program underwrites the cost of participating in leader training by covering the registration fee and the travel expenses associated with the training.

Interested in being trained as a leader?  Go to the Become a Leader Section for more information.