Supporting patients to self-manage chronic disease: Clinicians' perspectives and current practices

Rebecca L. Phillips*, Alison Short, Paul Dugdale, Peter Nugus, David Greenfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated: clinicians' perspectives of the scope of self-management, which self-management support initiatives are used, and the factors clinicians consider when deciding which initiative to use with individual patients. Three phases of data collection were used. First, clinicians were interviewed about their attitudes toward self-management (n≤14). Second, clinicians and managers completed a survey about the support initiatives they use (n≤38). Third, in interviews clinicians described the applications of initiatives (n≤6). Data were descriptively and thematically analysed. Clinicians believed that supporting self-management involved a holistic approach. However, some also thought that not all patients had the capacity to self-manage. This idea may be at odds with the underlying notion of self-management and impact on the support provided. Clinicians reported using 54 initiatives to support self-management and identified a range of situations when each initiative may or may not be suitable. This suggests that clinicians need to be familiar with a range of support initiatives as one will not suit everyone. Deciding which initiative is most appropriate may be aided by the development of guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic disease
  • health personnel
  • qualitative research
  • questionnaires
  • self care.


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