18 March 2015
Connecting people is a powerful way of helping people with long term conditions to stay healthy and improve the way they manage their illness. Our research on the Isle of Wight has been using a social networking ‘tool’ EU-GENIE to help people with a long term condition to expand and develop their support networks, gain access to the support and advice they need, and give them information to make behavioural changes.
Researcher Liz James from NIHRC CLAHRC Wessex was invited along with her research colleague Chad Oatley from the Isle of Wight Council to explain their research on how using social networking can help people self-manage their condition. The South East Coast Public Health Forum is made up from leaders in public health from the South East of England, which includes doctors, clinicians and public health experts from the local councils. There are many people living in that part of England, with an older population who have long terms conditions. Long term conditions can refer to any number of things including diabetes, breathing conditions (COPD) or kidney disease.
Liz and Chad were invited to speak at the forum event in Crawley by Dr Fahang Tahzib, a consultant in Public Health having seen them present at a public health conference at Warwick University. There was a great deal of interest show in the EU-GENIE project and we hope to be able to spread its benefits further into our south coast communities.