Help yourself: perspectives on self-management from people with dementia and their caregivers

Qual Health Res. 2015 Jan;25(1):87-98. doi: 10.1177/1049732314549604. Epub 2014 Sep 5.


Self-management interventions are increasingly offered to people with chronic health conditions. However, there has been limited exploration of how applicable such an approach is in early stage dementia. In this study we explored the views of people with dementia and family caregivers on the use of self-management in dementia. We conducted semistructured interviews with 13 people with early stage dementia and 11 caregivers. We analyzed transcripts using thematic analysis. We found eight themes in the analysis, and they indicated that self-management occurs in the context of peoples' family and social relationships as well as relationships with professional services. Six of the themes involved barriers to and facilitators of self-management. It is evident from these findings that people with dementia and caregivers use self-management techniques. Their use of such techniques could be enhanced by the development of interventions designed to help people with dementia to develop their self-management skills.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; caregivers / caregiving; dementia; illness and disease, experiences; interviews, semistructured; qualitative analysis; self-care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Care / methods*