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Support tool to help people living with long-term conditions

17 October 2019 @TeessideUni


People living with long-term conditions are invited to use a self-management support tool developed by Teesside University academics.

Dr Stephanie Kilinç
Dr Stephanie Kilinç

Dr Stephanie Kilinç and a team of academics 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.

MyLifeTool will be launched at the University on Wednesday 23 October. Places can be booked by anyone with a long-term condition, or anyone who works with or cares for someone with long-term conditions. All attendees will receive a free copy of MyLifeTool. Places are free, but limited. Book here

Dr Kilinç has been working on the project with Teesside University academics Dr Lis Hammond, Dr Miglena Campbell and Dr Jillian Taylor, along with Joanne Cole, from Neuro Key.

She said: 'MyLifeTool was developed in partnership with people living with long-term conditions and is based on research into experiences of living with long-term conditions.

'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.

The impact of long-term conditions can fluctuate and affect a person’s day-to-day life in so many different ways

Dr Stephanie Kilinç

'People may initially receive support after diagnosis, through short courses, but then are left to self-manage. MyLifeTool looks at five areas of the self-management journey.'

Dr Kilinç, added: “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.

“There is no right or wrong way as people continue on their journey. As a person’s condition changes, they might feel trapped, lost or as if they have travelled backwards a little.

“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.”

MyLifeTool is a creative self-management tool, made up of a series of booklets with the focus being on reflection. Each booklet focuses on that journey, from coming to terms with a diagnosis, to coping strategies to deal with the physical or mental aspects of a condition. There are sections on taking control and setting personal goals, connecting with others and finding your voice.

Dr Kilinç has been working on MyLifeTool as part of a wider Grand Challenge Civic Fellowship project at the University. Contact Dr Kilinç for further information about MyLifeTool.