Self-Management: Improving Quality of Life for Individuals with Chronic Illness

Introduction

Nurse advises patient about medicationThe science of self-management examines strategies to help individuals with chronic conditions and their caregivers better understand and manage their illness and improve their health behaviors. NINR-supported research helps individuals from diverse backgrounds and their families live with chronic illness by developing effective approaches to self-management that can improve quality of life while reducing the burden for caregivers and the health care system. On March 25, 2014, NINR convened a workshop of experts in the field of self-management. These experts were asked to propose and discuss a series of research questions that could point the way forward for nursing science in self-management research and inform future NINR efforts in this area.

Innovative Questions in Self-Management

3-1 - What clinical scenarios using point-of-care/self-monitoring diagnostic devices could significantly improve self-management?

3-2 - What are the brain-behavior links in the self-management of acute and chronic illnesses in the context of moderating variables such as environment and family factors?

3-3 - What interventions are efficacious and effective for self-management of symptoms across chronic conditions?

3-4 - How do we make self-management interventions sustainable across the lifespan for individuals who face changing health conditions?

3-5 - What factors facilitate translation of effective self-management interventions?

3-6 - What modifiable epigenetic factors are influenced by self-management interventions, and how may they shape biological (e.g. inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways) and behavioral outcomes in patients with chronic conditions and related symptoms?

3-7 - Within rural environments, what factors (social, cultural, and political) hinder or support the self-management behaviors of individuals, families, and communities, and how can technology and community participatory interventions be used to eliminate chronic disease-related health disparities?

3-8 - What is the influence of networks (e.g. kinship, social, etc.) on self-management at the family and community level, and what technologies can best optimize self-management and disease prevention across the lifespan?

3-9 - What interventions are needed to address variations in cognitive function/decision making to improve self-management behaviors, clinical outcomes and quality of life?