Chronic Disease Self Management: Understanding the patients' perspective

Project Summary

This study was conducted in summer 2011 and examined chronic disease self management from the patient's perspective.  The subjects included patients or family members of people living with chronic illness who have previously been 'Patient Educators' in interprofessional workshops that have helped UBC students to learn about the experience of living with a chronic condition.  In particular, our research focused on patients with cancer, arthritis, mental health conditions or epilepsy. The following three specific research questions were explored:

  1. How do patients expericence the tasks of chronic disease self management?
  2. How do patients learn to become experienced practitioners in chronic disease self management and what is the trajectory?
  3. What do health professionals (individually or as interprofessional teams) do, or do not do, to support chronic disease self management?

Over the course of 8 weeks, the research student conducted semi-structured, one-to-one interviews to try to discover his or her journey with their chronic condition. These interviews were audio-recorded and analysed for themes that emerged from a variety of personal experiences and a range of chronic diseases.   Through this research we hope to lay the foundation for further research into chronic disease self management which may lead to a journal publication.

Project coordinator: Rachel Dalzell, Medical Student, UBC 



This study was supported by the Summer Student Research Program (SSRP), UBC Faculty of Medicine.