A middle-range theory of self-care of chronic illness

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2012 Jul-Sep;35(3):194-204. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e318261b1ba.


Nearly 50% of adults have one or more chronic illnesses. Self-care is considered essential in the management of chronic illness, but the elements of self-care in this context have not been specified in a middle-range theory. This article describes a middle-range theory of self-care that addresses the process of maintaining health with health promoting practices within the context of the management required of a chronic illness. The key concepts include self-care maintenance, self-care monitoring, and self-care management. Assumptions and propositions of the theory are specified. Factors influencing self-care including experience, skill, motivation, culture, confidence, habits, function, cognition, support from others, and access to care are described.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index