Self Managment Support

What is Self Management?

Self-management support is the systematic provision of education and supportive interventions by the health care system to increase patients’ skills and confidence in managing their health problems, including regular assessment of progress and problems, goals setting and problem solving support. (Institute of Medicine, 2003)

Self-management refers to the underlying philosophy that every patient has the ability to play an active and central role in managing their own care and mitigating the effects of their illnesses.  Self-management encompasses all of the decisions that a patient makes and the behaviors that they display in managing their own care.


What are some methods for implementing Self-Management Support practices?

Many programs make a commitment to provide self-management support and prioritize the services to implement based on population needs.  Making a commitment to self-management is important as this changes the culture of the organization to welcome patients to be partners in their care.  Practices may begin to ensure they have basic cultural competencies and educational materials that are at an appropriate literacy level for their patients.  Action planning, also known as self-management goal setting, is another fundamental skill for staff to help patients make changes they feel are important.  See our Brief Action Planning Page for more information.  Motivational interviewing is a more advanced skill that supports patients as they try to make changes that are more challenging or for which they face barriers.  Most often, a subset of staff learn these skills and can be supportive to patients as needed. (see our Motivational Interviewing Page)  Finally, many practices develop a referral network for more advanced skills and interventions including therapy.  Behavioral health providers often are good partners whether they are accessed as part of the practice or by referral.

Building a comprehensive self-management support program takes time and systematic attention to the needs of the patient population but is well worth the effort.

How do we support patients in their Self Management?

At CCMI, we provide training to health care practitioners to build on their Self Management Support skills.  We train health care practitioners in ways to interact with patients that leave the patients feeling more in control of their own health.  Our communication strategies also help health care providers to assist patients in building a greater confidence  and efficacy in their own ability to manage their own care.  CCMI specializes in adapting Self Management Support tools to the realities that exist in busy clinical environments.

Contact us to find out how to get started.

Stepped Care for Self Management Support Handout

Helpful links:

To see what the  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has to day about Self Management Support with relation to patients suffering from Cystic Fibrosis click HERE.



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