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Our funding for updating this website ended in 2011, but the resources we developed are still helping clinical practices from around the world to transform the care they provide to better serve patients with chronic illness. Please visit our home page to learn more—or check out our more recent tools and resources at:


Self-Management Support

Empower and prepare patients to manage their health and health care
  • Emphasize the patient's central role in managing their health
  • Use effective self-management support strategies that include assessment, goal-setting, action planning, problem-solving and follow-up
  • Organize internal and community resources to provide ongoing self-management support to patients
All patients with chronic illness make decisions and engage in behaviors that affect their health (self-management). Disease control and outcomes depend to a significant degree on the effectiveness of self-management.
Effective self-management support means more than telling patients what to do. It means acknowledging the patients' central role in their care, one that fosters a sense of responsibility for their own health. It includes the use of proven programs that provide basic information, emotional support, and strategies for living with chronic illness. Self-management support can't begin and end with a class. Using a collaborative approach, providers and patients work together to define problems, set priorities, establish goals, create treatment plans and solve problems along the way.9