Purpose: Social Cognition Theory and the cognitive construct of self-efficacy often form the theoretical basis for many chronic disease self-management programmes. Self-efficacy can be influenced through these programmes and has been shown to be predictive of greater levels of functioning and psychological well-being. Stroke is regarded as a complex chronic disability, and individuals may share many of the same concerns as those living with other chronic diseases such as arthritis and chronic pulmonary disease. However there has been minimal reported research on the utility of self-management programmes following stroke.
Search strategy: To comprehend the composition of chronic disease self-management programmes which could be applied to stroke, this paper examined the theoretical basis of self-management and particularly the evidence relating to interventions which have utilized self-efficacy enhancing strategies. Selected papers were retrieved from an extensive search of literature using Medline, Cinahl, PsychInfo and Web of Science databases and the Cochrane Collaboration. The search request focused on literature that specifically related to chronic disease, self-management and self-efficacy that had been published since 1995. However, seminal literature on self-efficacy produced prior to this date was also included.
Discussion and conclusions: There is strong evidence to support the use of self-management programmes and their effect on self-efficacy and associated health outcomes. While there are differences in the nature of each chronic condition, there are similarities in the core skills required for self-management. Many effective strategies could be incorporated into current stroke rehabilitation programmes or used to develop targeted self-management interventions. Future research which informs stroke rehabilitation should utilize the evidence relating to other chronic conditions. This could be used to develop the most effective methods of equipping individuals following stroke to cope confidently with the transition from being discharged from therapy towards effective self-management in the longer term.