This rapid review compiles evidence about the effects of supporting self-management on people’s quality of life, clinical outcomes and health service use. Reviewers searched more than 10 bibliographic databases for research evidence published up until September 2010.
More than 100,000 reports were scanned and the findings from over 550 high quality studies are included in the review. It does not aim to be exhaustive but instead provides an easy to use compilation of up to date evidence.
Evidence suggests that supporting self-management works. Supporting people to look after themselves can improve their motivation, the extent to which they eat well and exercise, their symptoms and clinical outcomes and can even change how they use health services.
A wide range of initiatives are described as ‘self-management support’ and some may be more effective than others.
Many different types of support are important components of the jigsaw needed to encourage self-management, but information provision alone is unlikely to be sufficient to motivate behaviour change and improve outcomes.
Figure 1: continuum strategies to support self management is available to download
Following the success of Helping people help themselves, in June 2012, we published Helping people share decision making. The report reviews the available evidence about whether shared decision making is worthwhile.