New research report on self-management published by The Health Foundation

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Policy-makers, commissioners and healthcare providers will be interested in this new rapid review that compiles evidence about the effects of supporting self-management on people’s quality of life, clinical outcomes and health service use.

Reviewers searched more than 10 bibliographic databases for research evidence published up until September 2010.

More than 100,000 reports were scanned and the findings from over 550 high quality studies are included in the review. It does not aim to be exhaustive but instead provides an easy to use compilation of up to date evidence.

The foreword from the report states:

Two conclusions of this review stand out.

First, it provides a new perspective on self-management support. Traditionally, a wide range of methods have been described as supporting self-management – interventions as varied as handing out leaflets, tele-monitoring, intensive telephone coaching and structured education. This review shows that some approaches are significantly more effective than others.

Thus, it is essential that healthcare providers critically appraise this evidence and focus efforts on those methods with the strongest evidence.

Second, it shows that proactively supporting self-management and focusing on behaviour change can have an impact, in some circumstances, on clinical outcomes and emergency service use. Furthermore a focus on behaviour change is a necessary component in facilitating the effectiveness of other methods such as information provision.

Evidence: Helping people help themselves: a review of the evidence considering whether it is worthwhile to support self-management (PDF). The Health Foundation, May 2011.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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