PATH (Personal Action Toward Health)

What is PATH?

PATH (Personal Action Toward Health) is Michigan's name for the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (PATH in Michigan) was developed and tested by Stanford University to help people learn techniques and strategies for the day-to-day management of chronic or long-term health conditions. It is a six-week workshop conducted in 2 1/2 hour sessions each week. Workshops are offered in convenient, easily accessible community locations, and are offered for free, or at very low cost to participants.

See for yourself what PATH is all about.

Who should participate?

PATH is designed to benefit adults with chronic or long-term health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and depression. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also encouraged to attend the workshop.

What are the benefits of participating?

Individual studies have shown that program participants experience improved symptom management, better communication with physicians, a greater sense of self-efficacy, increased physical activity, and better general health compared to those who had not participated in the workshop. Those are just some of the potential benefits.

What happens in a PATH workshop?

Workshops are led by two trained leaders who may, themselves, have a long-term health condition. Workshop participants are people with many different health conditions. The workshop content is not disease specific; rather, it focuses on symptoms that are common to people with a variety of health conditions. The goal of the workshop is to help participants become better self-managers.

Over the 6 weeks, emphasis is placed on creating personal action plans and setting practical, achievable goals. Participants learn strategies to help them deal with problems such as pain, fatigue, and difficult emotions. Other topics include managing symptoms, managing medications, working with health care providers, relaxation, healthy eating, physical activity and communicating with family and friends.

Path Workshop Topics: Six Session Course

 Session 1

  • Identifying common problems
  • Acute vs. Chronic disease
  • Using your mind to manage symptoms
  • Action Plans

 Session 2

  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Physical activity and exercise

 Session 3

  • Better Breathing
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Pain and Fatigue Management
  • Endurance activities

 Session 4

  • Future plans for health care
  • Healthy eating
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving

 Session 5

  • Medication usage
  • Making informed treatment decisions
  • Depression management
  • Guided imagery

 Session 6

  • Working with your health care professional
  • Planning for future