Sickle cell disease: Review of Modules 1 to 5

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Review the information you learned in Modules 1 to 5 of the iCanCope with Sickle Cell Pain program.

Key points

  • In Modules 1 to 5, you learned strategies to help your teen manage their sickle cell pain, encourage your teen's independence, take a positive approach to solving problems and communicate effectively with your teen and their health-care team and school.
  • Consider which skills were most helpful for you and your family. You may want to continue using these skills in the future.

Modules 1 to 5 covered many skills and strategies for helping your teen manage their sickle cell pain. Below is a summary of the skills and strategies from each module.

Module 1: Introduction

In Module 1, you learned about:

3P approach to pain management

Pain is best treated with:

  • psychological strategies, or methods
  • physical strategies
  • pharmacological strategies

Together, these form the 3P approach to pain management.

SMART goals

Effective goals are SMART goals. This means they are:

  • specific (clearly defined)
  • measurable (you can measure when you have reached the goal)
  • achievable (possible to reach)
  • relevant (important to you)
  • time-bound (there is a deadline or an end date)

Module 2: Behaviour skills

In this module, you learned to:

Key points about behaviour

  • Behaviours followed by positive outcomes are strengthened, but behaviours followed by negative outcomes are weakened.
  • When your teen's behaviour leads to satisfying or rewarding outcomes, they are more likely to repeat this behaviour. We call rewarding outcomes "reinforcers" because they reinforce or strengthen a behaviour. Attention is a powerful reinforcer.
  • To encourage independence, think about what specific tasks you want your teen to manage on their own. Then, consider the skills they may need to develop to meet these goals and how you can support them to develop these skills.

Modules 3 and 4: Problem solving

In these modules, you learned about:

Bright IDEAS system for problem solving

The aim of the Bright IDEAS system of skills is to increase your ability to solve some of the trickier problems or concerns you may face as a parent or caregiver of a teen with sickle cell disease. You can apply the skills you learn to sickle cell–related challenges or many other issues.

Almost any problem, no matter how big it may appear at first, can be solved if you break it down into small parts or steps. Each step can then be solved, one at a time.

The steps can be remembered using the word IDEAS.

  • I Identify the problem
  • D Define your options
  • E Evaluate your options
  • A Act out your choice
  • S See if it worked
Bright IDEAS wheel with Optimism at the centre and the 5 steps in the outer sections of the wheel

Module 5: Communication

In this module, you learned:

Strategies for talking with your teen

Be a good communicator

  • Be direct.
  • Include your perspective and feelings.
  • Plan what to say.

Be a good listener

  • Be accessible.
  • Be present.
  • Use questions sparingly.

Keep it positive

  • Show physical affection.
  • Comment on the positives.
  • Have family meetings.
  • Give straightforward advice.
  • Reduce negativity in your home.

Your strategies

As you can see, you have learned different behaviour management and communication strategies and skills over the past weeks that you may want to continue using if you need them in the future.

Which of the strategies do you think were helpful for you and your family?

Last updated: March 22nd 2024