Processes of Self-Management in Chronic Illness

D. Schulman-Green, S. Jaser, F. Martin, A. Alonzo, M. Grey, R. Mccorkle, N.S. Redeker, N. Reynolds, R. Whittemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

437 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Self‐management is a dynamic process in which individuals actively manage a chronic illness. Self‐management models are limited in their specification of the processes of self‐management. The purpose of this article is to delineate processes of self‐management in order to help direct interventions and improve health outcomes for individuals with a chronic illness.

Design: Qualitative metasynthesis techniques were used to analyze 101 studies published between January 2000 and April 2011 that described processes of self‐management in chronic illness.

Methods: Self‐management processes were extracted from each article and were coded. Similar codes were clustered into categories. The analysis continued until a final categorization was reached.

Findings: Three categories of self‐management processes were identified: focusing on illness needs; activating resources; and living with a chronic illness. Tasks and skills were delineated for each category.

Conclusions: This metasynthesis expands on current descriptions of self‐management processes by specifying a more complete spectrum of self‐management processes.

Clinical Relevance: Healthcare providers can best facilitate self‐management by coordinating self‐management activities, by recognizing that different self‐management processes vary in importance to patients over time, and by having ongoing communication with patients and providers to create appropriate self‐management plans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


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