Supporting self-management in patients with chronic illness

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Oct 15;72(8):1503-10.


Support of patient self-management is a key component of effective chronic illness care and improved patient outcomes. Self-management support goes beyond traditional knowledge-based patient education to include processes that develop patient problem-solving skills, improve self-efficacy, and support application of knowledge in real-life situations that matter to patients. This approach also encompasses system-focused changes in the primary care environment. Family physicians can support patient self-management by structuring patient-physician interactions to identify problems from the patient perspective, making office environment changes that remove self-management barriers, and providing education individually and through available community self-management resources. The emerging evidence supports the implementation of practice strategies that are conducive to patient self-management and improved patient outcomes among chronically ill patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Community Health Services
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family
  • Practice Management, Medical
  • Self Care*