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I am very much upbeat and my energy levels are fantastic. This week I have completed a 10K run, which shows my treatment is having minimal side-effects upon me.
When I have previously attempted treatment in 2013, I now understand that I did not have the necessary support networks in place. I remember feeling isolated and venerable and I was unable to communicate this to my healthcare team, family and friends. This could have been the side-effects of my treatment or my self-confidence, but at the time I did not recognise this. This time on treatment I am experiencing fewer side-effects and I am confident that my support networks are well established and I also have access AbbVie Care.
What is AbbVie Care?
AbbVie Care is a tailored programme of support, which is designed to help patients with clear information and support during their hepatitis C therapy. It has been developed with healthcare professionals and patients who have firsthand experience of treatment and patient care. I believe this shows fantastic innovation, forward thinking and aims to support patients to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes.
What does AbbVie Care provide?
I feel engagement, support and guidance is important from my healthcare team, but the AbbVie Care programme can offer other 3 additional support elements.
1: Personal Support, you are able to speak with a dedicated care co-ordinator, who is a fully qualified nurse and they are also able to connect you to a support group. For example The Hepatitis C Trust, they are also able to improve your communication with your healthcare team.
2: Motivation throughout your treatment, which could include reminders of appointments, when to take your mediation and motivational message, which could enable you to stay on track.
3: Information and resources posted directly and discreetly to you, or found online, allow you to understand your treatment and care in a clear and well communicated formats. For example, starter kit, dosing card, treatment diary, journey map, magazines and patient information leaflets.
How do you enrol?
Speak with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist who can enroll you on the programme, or simply call 0800 1488 322 or 01530 454233.
Please note AbbVie Care is for patients only who have been prescribed Viekirax with or without Exviera. If you are taking other hepatitis C medications than these, please view my Support insight. Here you are able to look at other support networks with you may wish to access. If you are unsure of how to access these support networks please speak with your healthcare team.
Why should I access AbbVie Care?
•You are able to access clear information when you need it.
•By having a better understanding of your condition, you will be able to deal with it more effectively.
•Engagement and reminders are a good way to commit to your treatment.
•Keeping a record of your treatment experience will enable you to track your progress.
•It could help meet your personal needs related to treatment, if your healthcare team are not available. For example accessing their out-out of hours telephone helpline.
•I have the opportunity to speak to a dedicated care co-ordinator about my treatment concerns and help maximise my chance of my treatment success.
•I have access to support networks which enables me the opportunity to speak with someone who has gone through treatment.
•Register with AbbVie Care before you start treatment.
•Take time to read and digest the information and the resources provided to you.
•Make sure the support provided is appropriate to your needs.
•Be honest to yourself, your healthcare team and AbbVie Care to what support you need.
•Be confident to ask questions and make sure you understand the answers.
What has impressed me when accessing AbbVie Care?
AbbVie Care has invested a great deal of time and finical support in developing and delivering this programme. Friendly care co-ordinator staff who are non-judgemental, support and help you through your treatment journey. This support programme I feel supports the patient but also the healthcare teams in delivering impressive standards to patients and with this comes excellent clinical outcomes.
When I first enrolled with the AbbVie Care support programme, I was asked a number of questions which included my ability to engage with my healthcare team and other support networks. My answers were measured using “The Patient Activation Measure” (PAM). It is a powerful and reliable measure of patient activation.
Patient activation’ is a widely recognised concept. It describes the knowledge, skills and confidence a person has in managing their own health and health care. Intervening to increase activation can improve a patient’s engagement and health outcomes and is an important factor in helping patients to manage their health.
People who have low levels of activation are less likely to play an active role in staying healthy. They are less good at seeking help when they need it, at following a doctor’s advice and at managing their health when they are no longer being treated. Their lack of confidence and their experience of failing to manage their health often means that they prefer not to think about it.
Patient activation scores have been robustly demonstrated to predict a number of health behaviours. They are closely linked to clinical outcomes, the costs of health care and patients’ ratings of their experience. Highly activated patients are more likely to adopt healthy behaviour, to have better clinical outcomes and lower rates of hospitalisation, and to report higher levels of satisfaction with services.
I believe the NHS is going through a period of unprecedented change. Demands on the system and service mean that improvements need to be made to the quality of care and the capacity of provision, in parallel with a reduction in costs. Two key strategies for achieving this include increasing the role of patients in managing their own care and improving the efficiency of service delivery. I believe AbbVie Care have set the bar high in achieving this through their support programme.