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Nurses’ views on patient self-management

Publication of Innovations in Care
J. Dwarswaard, J.M.J. Been-Dahmen, A.L. Staa,van, | Article | Publication date: 11 September 2015

a qualitative study

AIMS: To unravel outpatient nurses' views on the role of people with chronic conditions in self-management, nurses' own support role and to establish how these views relate to nurse-led self-management interventions. BACKGROUND: Providing self-management support is a core task of nurses in outpatient chronic care. However, the concept of self-management is interpreted in different ways and little is known about nurses' views on patients' role in self-management and nurses' own support role. DESIGN: Qualitative design. METHODS: Individual semi-structured interviews were held in 2012-2013 with outpatient nurses at a university medical hospital in the Netherlands. After transcription, data-driven codes were assigned and key elements of views and experiences were discussed in the research team. Finally, insights were merged to construct and characterize types. RESULTS: Twenty-seven nurses were interviewed. The analysis identified three divergent views on self-management support: adhering to a medical regimen; monitoring symptoms; and integrating illness into daily life. These views differ with respect to the patient's role in self-management, the support role of the nurse and the focus of activities, ranging from biomedical to biopsychosocial. The first two were mainly medically oriented. Nurses applied interventions consistent with their individual views on self-management. CONCLUSION: Nurses had distinct perceptions about self-management and their own role in self-management support. Social and emotional tasks of living with a chronic condition were, however, overlooked. Nurses seem to lack sufficient training and practical interventions to provide self-management support that meets the integral needs of patients with a chronic condition.


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