Disability and poor quality of life attributable to chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease constitute challenging public health problems for American society. In the absence of any effective cure for these conditions, the secondary prevention of complications and improving quality of life and functional capacity through better disease self-management becomes critical and are key objectives of Healthy People 2010. The organizing focus of such disease self-management should be on improving coping, communication, and control by enhancing self-efficacy. Part I of this two-part article describes the common clinical features of chronic diseases and the diverse disease management strategies used for alleviating pain and preventing disability associated with these and reviews the role of self-efficacy as a theoretical framework for successful self-management interventions. Part II identifies and synthesizes the key research evidence for educational interventions designed to enhance individual self-efficacy perceptions and presents implications for practice in patient education.