What is the Ask Health Diary?

At QCIDD, we collaborated with many people with disability, families and supporters to develop a health diary entitled ask (advocacy skills kit) for adolescents and adults with intellectual disability.  There was a lot of research behind these diaries.   The adolescent version also comes with a Curriculum Strategy Booklet for teachers and a DVD explaining why health advocacy should be taught in schools.

The aim of the diary is to improve the current poor health status of adults with intellectual disability.   As people with intellectual disability are often accompanied to consultations with health professionals, we had to develop a diary that everyone could contribute to.  People with intellectual disability often do not experience a sense of control over their lives, ownership of documentation, or decisions about health interventions. The diary was designed to provide the person with a greater sense ownership of their personal and health information. 

The Ask (Advocacy Skills Kit) diary, is B5 size with a sturdy Velcro-bound folder and of 100+ basic pages, and is divided into four major sections:

All about me contains a record of personal details of the patient including means of communication, previous types of residence, weekly activities, names and contact details for family members or support organisations, and contact details for health practitioners including specialists, general practitioners, dentists, therapists, allied health care, and complementary health care.  The patient, the advocate, or family members can fill in this section.

Health Advocacy Tips provides information on advocacy and how to prepare for the doctor's visits; picture symbols with line drawings of male and female bodies; recording sheets for observations of pain, menstruation, bowel, bladder and epilepsy.  The patient, the advocate, or family members can fill in this section.

For the Doctor provides ideas for clinical staff on how to work with people with intellectual disability, enhanced primary care initiatives, and checklists of health problems associated with specific syndromes.  The doctor uses this section.

Medical Records provides records of diagnoses, operations, medications, immunisations, allergies, family history of disease, and medical consultations.   The patient, advocate or family members can fill in this section.

It is so important for people to take control of their health. This diary helps you to do it.

There are limited copies of the adolescent diary available for purchase. For information please ring 3162 2412 or email qcidd@uq.edu.au

The app

History

In June 2013, QCIDD was involved in a small project with Community Living Program in promoting CHAP and the diary in schools and special education units on Brisbane Northside. Out of that came an offer from an IT teacher at Narangba Valley High School, Alastair Smith, to turn the Ask diary into an app.  He had been developing apps privately for some time. Alastair has done an excellent job and it was officially released on Wednesday 8th June 2016.

About the app

The app has the same ‘sections’ of personal and historical information about the person which can be alterable, ideas on how to advocate for yourself at the doctor, what records to keep, and symbols to help identify symptoms. It is presently only available for purchase through iTunes.

https://appsto.re/au/pkVubb.i

©  The University of Queensland

Recognition

The Ask app was a finalist in the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards for 2014.