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Living Well Toolkit


People with a long-term health condition often meet a variety of clinicians and are likely to need care at various points in their life.

It can be hard for people to communicate what it is they need from a clinicians at a particular time in their life, or explain how their condition and other aspects of their life influence their health and wellbeing.


The Living Well Toolkit aims to improve the quality of care for people living with a long term condition. The DHW Lab worked collaboratively with the Centre for Person Centred Research at AUT, to develop the toolkit using a participatory informed approach. Twenty five people; fourteen living with a long-term condition and their whanau and family, and eleven clinicians participated in individual interviews and focus groups. Their experiences helped to inform the development of the toolkit.

The toolkit helps clinicians to identify what is important to the patient and discuss the specific issues that affect that person’s wellbeing, through building better patient-clinician relationships. Making patient-clinician interactions more meaningful for patients may improve long-term health outcomes.

The Living Well Toolkit is a ring-bound journal owned by the patient, documenting who they are as a person and what matters most to them when receiving healthcare. It also helps patients to reflect on what it is they need to live well with their condition, and identify who they would like to be involved in their care. A cue card for clinicians reminds them of what is needed to engage with their patients in a meaningful way. Clinicians also have access to online resources that promote and support the use of the toolkit in clinical practice.

The toolkit is approachable, subtle and appealing for patients and clinicians. It can be refreshed with spare pages. The hand-drawn Illustrations paired with highly legible typography help establish a down-to-earth, positive tone. The design avoids feeling ‘medical’ in its aesthetic, and without becoming patronising, helps to create a common ground for the clinicians and patient.