Challenges to Self-Management Support in Chronic Diseases

2015 Aug;39(4):330-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2015.01.002. Epub 2015 Mar 30.

Are Behavioural Interventions Doomed to Fail? Challenges to Self-Management Support in Chronic Diseases
Michael Vallis PhD, R. Psych



Self-management and self-management support are concepts very familiar to those of us in diabetes care. These concepts require openness to understanding the behaviours of persons with diabetes broadly, not only behaviours restricted to the biomedical perspective. Understanding the importance of health behaviour change and working within the Expanded Chronic Care Model define the context within which self-management support should occur. The purpose of this perspective is to identify a potential limitation in existing self-management support initiatives. This potential limitation reflects provider issues, not patient issues; that is, true self-management support might require changes by healthcare providers. Specifically, although behavioural interventions within the context of academic research studies are evidence based, behaviour change interventions implemented in general practice settings might prove less effective unless healthcare providers are able to shift from a practice based on the biomedical model to a practice based on the self-management support model.

The purpose of this article is to facilitate effective self-management support by encouraging providers to switch from a model of care based on the expert clinician encountering the uninformed help seeker (the biomedical model) to one guided by collaboration grounded in the principles of description, prediction and choice. Key to understanding the value of making this shift are patient-centered communication principles and the tenets of complexity theory.

© 2015 Canadian Diabetes Association