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Icope program: Ariège innovates in the prevention of addiction



the essential
Designed by the World Health Organization, the Icope program aims to prevent dependency through early detection of fragilities in the elderly. Ariège has been one of the experimental departments since October 2022.

With the increase in life expectancy, the prevention of addiction has become a major issue. This is why the professional territorial health community (CPTS) Ariège Pyrénées did not hesitate to become involved as an experimental department in a program for the early detection of the frailties of the elderly person, Icope, developed by the World Organization for Health (WHO) and deployed with the Gérontopôle of the Toulouse University Hospital.

“In the program piloted by the WHO, there is the idea of ​​finding experimenters directly with the Regional Health Agency (ARS) or in connection with the CHUs, explains Camille Ortega, project manager at the CPTS and the territorial animation of Icope. In our case, it is with the Gérontopôle de Toulouse, with whom we signed a three-year agreement in October 2022 for the CPTS to be an experimenter on its territory.

10 minute test

The principle ? An application to be downloaded by people over 60, and 10 minutes of tests and questions covering six key functions: locomotion, vitality, mood, sight, hearing, cognition. “These are very simple tests that people can perform with the help of someone, but also alone, in self-screening, wishes to underline Camille Ortega. A chair lift, a whisper test, or questions like: have you lost weight unintentionally lately? It is therefore a very global vision of health, not just biological, since a loss of appetite, for example, can be linked to many factors: drug treatment, a visit to the dentist or social isolation. »

The program does not stop there, however. An alert can indeed be generated at the end of the test according to the answers given by the person, and give rise to the development of a specific course of care. “Depending on the answers, we will offer them to do additional tests, which will often be carried out by a nurse, we make the link with the treating doctors, or we direct, for example, to sport-health, details the project manager. And when the person self-screens, they are contacted anyway within 48 to 72 hours by a nurse from the Gérontopôle, who refines the screening.

Talk about prevention

But it is still necessary to make known this program, more particularly intended for people far from care. “We started by training professionals in the tool, but we quickly thought about other strategies by reaching out to municipalities, nursing homes, family carers, explains Camille Ortega. The purpose of these communications, forums, screening days, is to present and explain the tool, but above all to really talk about prevention, which is not yet in our culture: we see old age as inevitable, so that prevention has its place there.”

Two meetings were thus organized on this theme on April 4 and 11 in the nursing homes of Bellissen in Foix and Bariol in Pamiers. A way, also, to highlight certain assets of the territory: “We are lucky because we have, for example, sport-health, which is of enormous importance in the prevention of dependence, the maintenance of social ties, the memory, mobility, with also a recognized effect on certain chronic diseases such as diabetes.”

Positive results

Eight months after the launch of the program in Ariège, the first results are positive. The last quarterly update carried out with the Gérontopôle, in April, thus counts 46 professionals trained in the tool and 243 people who have downloaded and used the application to screen themselves. “It shows that today, this kind of program is feasible and the tool is really designed for seniors, it’s very intuitive, judge Camille Ortega. The hardest part is almost installing it and creating an account…»

It will of course take time to measure all the benefits, “but it is also a way of being an actor in your health”, concludes the project manager. The CPTS, for its part, is continuing its action towards municipalities and local associations, is preparing to carry out screening campaigns with several multi-professional health centres, and is already preparing the sports-health day, in September, and a large forum in Tarascon in October.

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