Self-management definitions include both the medical and social aspects of living and managing with a long-term chronic condition.
Self-management not only involves the skills to cope with medical needs, but also includes the emotional and social adjustments required by individuals over time.
Although there is research on stages of adjustment and development of self-management skills this needs to be taken in the context of each individual and their own experiences after stroke.
Barlow (2002) defined self-management as referring to;
an individual’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical and psychosocial consequences and lifestyle changes inherent in living with a chronic condition efficacious self-management encompasses ability to monitor one’s condition and to affect the cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses necessary to maintain a satisfactory quality of life, thus, a dynamic and continuous process of self-regulation is established (Barlow, 2002).
The term self-management is often interchangeably with the term ‘self-care’, the DOH (2005), has a much stronger focus on the medical aspects of self-management and is defined as ‘the actions individuals and cares take for themselves, their children, their families and others to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet psychological and social needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or accident (DOH, 2005) taken From QEI overview of self-care
Many self-management programmes are based on ‘self-efficacy’ principles developed by Albert Bandura. He described self-efficacy as ‘the belief that an individual has about their own capability to be able to produce a particular outcome’. There are said to be many different ways to enhance self-efficacy, and these have been tested in different people with a range of chronic diseases.
More information about self-efficacy can be found at:
As more self-management programmes are being developed, people’s views and experiences about living with their condition and disability are now being used to design the content of these programmes. The first stage of self-management often involves learning more about the condition and how best to manage it.
A range of good advice, different treatment options, and where to go for reliable information, can be found at: