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Professionals 2018-06-05T16:14:43+00:00

MyHealios: For Healthcare Providers

If you are a healthcare provider working with a person who is affected by multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia, you know about the serious impact that caregiving has on the person’s family.

Caregivers are likely to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, and depression from the burden of caring. Health-related quality of life is decreased and rates of mortality and morbidity often increased among family caregivers of those with chronic illness. Additionally, stress on the part of the caregiver can translate into stress on the part of the patient. Research suggests that caregiver burden can have an impact on clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.

MyHealios can be a solution to these complex issues: an important supplement to the regular care received by a person with multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia. We invite you to learn more about this option and how our resilience coaching service can benefit the patients you help.

What are the benefits for providers?

Psychoeducation on the cognitive and emotional impacts of a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia can improve not only the overall health of the caregiver but also the health of the patient. Research suggests that psychoeducation and caregiver skills training can:

  • Reduce relapse and hospitalization in schizophrenia
  • Improve cognitive outcomes and self-efficacy in multiple sclerosis
  • Improve adherence to medication and therapy
  • Increase satisfaction with medical treatment
  • Reduce stress and subjective caregiver burden
  • Positively impact patient mood, self-esteem and well-being
  • Contribute to patients’ sense of social and emotional support

What evidence supports caregiver coaching?

The objective and subjective burden of caregiving can truly be called a public health crisis.

Fortunately, there is extensive research not only on the impact of caregiving but best practices in interventions. Our program is evidence-based and draws on the success of resilience-based skills training, psychoeducation, and caregiver coaching. All these methods are supported by research.

Two research studies of Internet-based programs that incorporated caregiver skills training and a multi-media psychoeducation component, demonstrated promising results on outcomes related to objective and subjective caregiving, versus wait-list control conditions. Please see the charts below.

Purba, J. M., Suttharangsee, W., & Chaowalit, A. (2016). Effects of a caregiver coaching program on family caregivers’ competencies for persons with schizophrenia: a pilot study. Journal of Health Research, 30(4), 267-274.

Beauchamp, N., Irvine, A. B., Seeley, J., & Johnson, B. (2005). Worksite-based internet multimedia program for family caregivers of persons with dementia. The Gerontologist, 45(6), 793-801.

When to refer to MyHealios?

Our coaching program is designed by a team of psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists, and is intended to educate and support family caregivers throughout all stages of a patient’s condition, from diagnosis to moments of remission to exacerbation. Common situations in which MyHealios can benefit patients and their caregivers include (but are not limited to):

  • You’re seeing a patient diagnosed with one of the conditions we support (multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia) and notice that the caregiver seems overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to handle personality changes or how to support the patient’s care.
  • One of your patients is showing signs of stress and you identify the root cause as the subjective psychological burden of caregiving (anxiety, depression, frustration).
  • The involvement of the family caregiver is vital to your patient’s ability to stabilize their mental health, avoid relapse or rehospitalization, and progress towards personal goals.
  • Cognitive impairment from a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis is greatly impacting the patient’s ability to communicate, and you want to support family caregivers in better understanding these changes and knowing how to support their loved one.

Program Overview:

The MyHealios service was designed to be the most convenient option for a family caregiver. Our coaching service can be reached on evenings and weekends, from the comfort of home.

Accessing and utilizing MyHealios couldn’t be simpler. Here are the steps involved:

REGISTER
Registration only takes minutes. 45-minute sessions cost $85, a fraction of the cost of therapy.

CONNECT
Caregivers connect with coaches on a secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platform.

LEARN
Our evidence-based skills-training program is provided through a unique interactive program.

PRACTICE
Coaches provide practical, real-world exercises to help caregivers practice the skills they learn.

FOLLOW UP
Continuing sessions are scheduled so caregivers can keep refining skills and building resilience.

Our Advisors

Professor Kim T. Mueser, PhD is an advisor to the Board of MyHealios and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of our coaching services.

For decades, Kim has studied the benefits of family behavioral therapy for serious illnesses like schizophrenia. His work on this topic is widely published and has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Kim is a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and a professor in the Departments of Occupational Therapy, Psychology, and Psychiatry at Boston University.

He holds an adjunct professor position in Department of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire and is involved in variety of publications and organizations, including serving as a reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Mueser is licensed as a clinical psychologist in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Larry Alphs, M.D. is an advisor to the Board of MyHealios and has been instrumental in the research currently conducted on our coaching services.

Amy Martinez, PhD is a consultant to the team leadership. Dr. Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist with more than 11 years of extensive experience in the neuropsychology field. She is the Director of the Integrated Cognitive Rehabilitation Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center and also runs the outpatient Neuropsychology Service within the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at UR Medicine.

Victoria Leavitt, PhD is a consultant to the team leadership. As a clinical neuropsychologist and researcher, Dr. Leavitt’s primary interest lies in understanding cognitive impairment and lifestyle factors that protect against cognitive decline in clinical populations, with a specialization in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Leavitt is a clinical neuropsychologist for New York-Presbyterian and Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology) at Columbia University Medical Center.