Patients with chronic illness need support, as well as information, to become effective managers of their own health. In order to meet these needs, it is essential for them to have the following:
- Basic information about their disease
- Understanding of an assistance with self-management skill building
- Ongoing support from members of the practice team, family, friends, and community
Providers need to be sensitive to the role that families, caregivers, and communities play in different cultures. Better patient outcomes are achieved through use of evidence-based techniques that emphasize patient activation or empowerment, collaborative goal setting, and problem-solving skills. The provider team can use standardized assessments of patient self-management needs and activities to enhance its ability to support patients. These assessments include questions about self-management knowledge, skills, confidence, supports, and barriers.
Changes for Improvement