Self-Management Support

If you have a long-term or chronic health condition, you can learn how to help manage it and to live well with it. This is called self-management.

Self-management support is help you can get to manage your health condition.

What a long-term health condition is

A long-term health condition is one that can be treated and managed but is usually not cured.

For example:

  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • diabetes
  • heart conditions
  • stroke
  • arthritis
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)

What you need to do

You have an important role in your healthcare. Your family members or carers may also have a role to play.

You need to:

  • have a full understanding of your condition
  • know how to manage it
  • how it will affect your life

Examples of self-management

Self-management is what you do every day.

This may include:

  • recognising and dealing with symptoms (monitoring your condition)
  • taking medicine
  • managing treatment
  • attending appointments
  • making lifestyle changes
  • coping with the emotional effects of your condition

To do this well you need to have the right information, support and services.

Benefits of self-management

Learning how to self-manage your condition may help you:

  • feel better
  • stay active
  • live well

Support you can get

Getting self-management support will help you to:

  • learn more about your condition
  • feel more confident
  • become better at taking care of your health
  • set goals, problem-solve and make plans to live a healthier life

Learning to take care of yourself when dealing with a long-term health condition is not something you do once. It is an ongoing part of your care.

Types of self-management support

There are many different types of self-management support.

They include:

  • reviews by members of your healthcare team
  • getting information on your condition
  • action plans, for use when symptoms get worse
  • lifestyle change supports
  • talking to a counsellor
  • cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation
  • courses and groups

Groups and courses

Courses and groups are another type of self-management support.

They include:

Resources if you have a long-term health condition

These resources support people to live well with long-term health conditions.

Resources if you have a long-term health condition

Resources for healthcare professionals working with people living with long-term health conditions