The Association Savoir Patient (ASAP) develops synergies between patients, professionals in the field and researchers, in order to promote the improvement of care and quality of life.
The Association Savoir Patient (ASAP) was created in Geneva on August 26, 2003. It is the result of a two-year participatory process and the fruit of a work for the recognition by professionals and decision-makers of the knowledge developed by people confronted daily with the disease. The participation of the patients, without being acquired, is nevertheless extending more and more to the French-speaking cantons and abroad.
ASAP brings together people confronted with health problems, concerned professionals from the public and private sectors in the fields of health, social work, education and information, as well as researchers.
Knowledge and experience are so closely related that the idea of separating them may be surprising. Knowledge is usually defined as "the activity of taking note of the data of experience and seeking to make them intelligible". The dynamic of construction of Savoir Patient is empirical since it starts from experience to arrive at knowledge.
Savoir Patient, initially "knowledge for its own sake", then becomes, in the processes by which it is constituted and achieved, "knowledge in itself"; that is to say, it is capable of being separated from its origins, from the experience of the individual, and can thus be reinvested in situations other than those in which it was created. It therefore represents a collective value, a resource of an immaterial nature.
Savoir Patient provides a non-discontinuous, non-divided vision of the disease; the different stages, the different facets, the different impacts of the disease are all integrated, intertwined in an inseparable way as they are in the body, the mind, the thought and the life of the suffering person. This contribution is invaluable to integrated, person-centered care and to the relevance of care structures that are mostly organized vertically and by specialty, leaving little room for transversality.
Participatory approaches to patient involvement are therefore the best tool to help bring out the knowledge of those concerned.
When these participatory processes are ethical and rooted in mutual respect, co-responsibility, spontaneity, creativity and the "courage to act", the result is empowerment, the taking in hand of our destinies by the citizens that we are.