Objective: To give a comprehensive overview of benefits and challenges from participating in group based patient education programs that are carried out by health care professionals and lay participants, aimed at promoting self-management for people living with chronic illness.
Methods: We searched 8 literature databases. Full text articles meeting the inclusion criteria were retrieved and reviewed. Arksey and O'Malley's framework for scoping studies guided the review process and thematic analysis was undertaken to synthesize extracted data.
Results: Of the 5935 titles identified, 47 articles were included in this review. The participants experienced the programs as beneficial according to less symptom distress and greater awareness of their own health, improved self-management strategies, peer support, learning and hope.
Conclusion: A substantial evidence base supports the conclusion that group based self-management patient education programs in different ways have been experienced as beneficial, but more research is needed.
Practice implications: The insights gained from this review can enable researchers, health care professionals, and participants to understand the complexity in evaluating self-management patient education programs, and constitute a basis for a more standardized and systematic evaluation. The results may also encourage health care professionals in planning and carrying out programs in cooperation with lay participants.
Keywords: Chronic disease; Disease management; Patient education; Patient participation; Self efficacy.
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