The expert e-patient: "Some e-patients develop significant expertise in their conditions. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at the Stanford Patient Education Research Center were the first to identify and study the expert patient. They found that, compared with other patients, expert patients did a much better job of managing their diseases-improving their health status, coping more effectively with fatigue, remaining less dependent on professional care, and managing the many other challenges of their chronic condition. The next step involved the development of a system by which professionals could support expert patients.
In Lorig's expert patient model, experienced patients are recruited and trained to help fellow patients with arthritis and other chronic diseases develop the necessary skills to manage their own conditions. Such patients can serve as facilitators, educators, and supporters of self-managed care. They also encourage their fellow patients to help other patients-and teach them."