Chronic disease self-management support: the way forward for Australia

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This article gives an overview of the benefits and evidence for self management support, some of the key challenges in implementing it and broad solutions.

The authors undertook research to identify common themes and posit some “next steps” required to develop self-management programs in the Australian context.  They conclude that:

  • Self-management and self-management support are key aspects of optimal chronic disease care, and are effective if implemented appropriately.
  • Health literacy is the foundation for self-management programs and should be fostered within the whole population.
  • We should invest in research and evaluation of self-management because the evidence base is under-developed and inherently difficult to expand.
  • Because patient, carer, clinician and organisational engagement with self-management and self-management support programs are uneven, we need to prioritise activities designed to engage known hard-to-reach groups.
  • We should strive to improve integration of self-management into clinical, educational and workplace contexts.
  • Education and psychological theories can help guide self-management support.

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