There are specific skills and approaches that health professionals, health coaches and others who support people with long term conditions can use which have been shown to be effective in supporting and enabling them to self-manage.
To effectively manage their own long term condition(s), most people need to make difficult lifestyle and behaviour changes. But research shows that simply providing information is not enough to help people maintain motivation through these changes.
Health professionals, health coaches and others working with people with long term conditions can support people to achieve their goals and better manage their own health if they develop their practice so they are using specific self-management support skills and approaches.
Using skills and techniques to support people
Specific evidence-based skills – sometimes called ‘enablers’ – and techniques that have been shown to be effective include agenda-setting, goal-setting, and goal follow-up. Read more about these skills and techniques and how to put them into practice.
Whilst many health professionals feel they are already supporting their patients to self-manage, training in the specific evidence-based skills can help both health professionals and others who are supporting people with long term conditions to do it better.
Through our Co-creating Health programme we considered how to maximise the effectiveness of the training. Read more about how to run effective self-management support training.
The Health Foundation’s Practitioner Development Programme distils the evidence about what works into a clear set of practical skills and tools that clinicians, health coaches and others can learn and use to support people to self-manage. View and download resources we have developed to run a practitioner development programme including a practical guide, overheads, handouts and a workbook.
Supporting clinicians to embed self-management support
Clinicians need to share a consistent approach and be supported to embed self-management support into their standard practice. This involves not only developing the specific skills to use in consultations, but also developing proactive systems and culture to support self-management within their service. In order to engage service users as collaborative partners in their care it is essential that health professionals and teams have this shared purpose.
The Health Foundation’s Co-creating Health programme learnt a huge amount about how to support health professionals and teams to develop their practice to support self-management. Read about some of the approaches that help health professionals to use and maintain their self-management support skills.