Self-management education of people with chronic conditions - such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, post-myocardial infarction, asthma, epilepsy, back pain, cancer - is recognised as an essential part of treatment. Moreover spreading education for healthy lifestyles to the general population appears to be the only way to prevent the anticipated explosion of obesity, type 2 diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and their cardiovascular complications.
Almost two years ago, the international congress Therapeutic Patient Education 2006, including the International DAWN Summit, brought together in Florence more than nine hundred professionals from all over the world, and served as an important platform for presentation and evaluation of educational efforts in the management and long-term follow-up of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The great success of TPE 2006, and the impressive amount of research and activities, that were initiated globally to further advance the implementation of patient-centred chronic care, led us to convene Therapeutic Patient Education 2008. The congress will cover recent advances in TPE, and will create a novel possibility for experts in human sciences such as psychology, sociology, pedagogy, anthropology, bioethics, and for health professionals specialized in different chronic diseases to exchange their experiences and confront different paradigms of medicine. Again, the concurrence with the DAWN Summit will add a unique opportunity for sharing worldwide experience in therapeutic education and psycho-social care.
Still too often self-management education is limited to information and training, in a prescriptive framework. A significant aim of this congress will be the clarification of more efficient strategies to facilitate individuals’ inner motivation and sustain healthy lifestyle permanent changes.
Along with scientific sessions, several optional master-classes will enable participants to exercise specific skills with the supervision of experts in the field.
Budapest, with its continental beauty, at the intersection of European history and art, appears to be a very appropriate venue for this congress.
We hope that the congress will attract again hundreds of physicians, nurses, dieticians, psychologists, podiatrists, and other health professionals working in this field, and that the series of congresses started in 2006 will be confirmed as the primary arena for discussion and diffusion of the educational approach to chronic disease management.