Chronic diseases (CDs) are long-term illnesses, often progressive in nature, that can lead to depression, diminished functioning, disability, or death. By the year 2030, an estimated 3 billion people around the world will be living with at least one chronic disease (CD), and 1 in 3 will be living with multiple CDs. Once an epidemic of aging populations in affluent nations, CD is now a global pandemic impacting people of all ages, and causing psychosocial and economic hardships from the individual and family to society on national and global fronts.
Advances in modern medicine have enabled people to survive what would otherwise have been certain death in the case of many diseases. What has been missing is the way to help these survivors thrive. This presentation will explore the impact of CD on wellbeing, and the gap that exists in healthcare between extending life and quality-of-life. Through the overarching lens of positive psychology theory and research, we will examine how the elements of Hope, Engagement, Action, Resources, and Thriving (HEART), can help protect patients with CD against psychopathology while promoting resilience and wellbeing, and how to help those living with CD create a path to move from surviving to thriving.