What is Chronic Disease Self-Management?
Chronic Disease Self-Management has a range of meanings but basically it refers to the range of health enhancing behaviours that a person with chronic illness can adopt. While many of these behaviours are engaged in unconsciously, there are others that can be taught and still others that can be improved on. Chronic disease self-management programs are designed to either improve current behaviours, or to teach new behaviours.
When a person develops a chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis or a heart condition, their lives are turned upside down and it becomes imperative to adopt new behaviours or strategies. Some of the strategies people adopt assist them with daily living, while other strategies will assist them to maintain a level of health. Self-management programs assist people to find these strategies in a safe atmosphere, with the assistance of health professionals. Most programs are run in groups so that people with chronic illnesses are able to share their experiences, learn from one another and make new friends.