The processes to allow people to self-manage their own illness are not being used appropriately by health professionals to the benefit of their patients, new research suggests.
Self-management support aims to increase the patient's ability to take ownership over their condition and in some cases, to self-treat. It is widely seen as critical to ensure the sustainability of health services in terms of costs. Although potentially effective, patient based interventions can be limited as not all patients engage with them. However, embedding self-management support discussions and decisions into everyday clinical practices is thought to encourage patients to become more actively involved.
The study, led by Senior Research Fellow, Anne Kennedy at the University of Southampton, was carried out in the North West of England by the Universities of Southampton, Manchester, York and Keele and published in the BMJ. It assessed a whole system intervention, which attempted to implement self-management support, led by the health service, for patients with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
All staff, including clinical, management and administrative staff, at 44 practices were trained in a new self-management approach, designed by the universities involved, which helped them to put the patient at the centre of their care and use a range of self-management support resources.
More than 5,500 patients took part in the trial one of the largest randomised controlled trials of self-management support in primary care ever completed. Practices were randomised to either receive the training intervention and deliver the new self-management approach or provide routine care (the control practices were trained after the trial was completed).
However feedback and assessments showed that while practices engaged with and enjoyed the training, they did not use the approach to improve shared decis
|Contact: Becky Attwood|
University of Southampton