Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 1-7

First online:

Self-management education: History, definition, outcomes, and mechanisms

  • Kate R. LorigAffiliated withStanford University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Halsted R. HolmanAffiliated withStanford University School of Medicine

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Self-management has become a popular term for behavioral interventions as well as for healthful behaviors. This is especially true for the management of chronic conditions. This article offers a short history of self-management. It presents three self-management tasks—medical management, role management, and emotional management—and six self-management skills—problem solving, decision making, resource utilization, the formation of a patient-provider partnership, action planning, and self-tailoring. In addition, the article presents evidence of the effectiveness of self-management interventions and posits a possible mechanism, self-efficacy, through which these interventions work. In conclusion the article discusses problems and solutions for integrating self-management education into the mainstream health care systems.