Being creative and resourceful Individuals’ abilities and possibilities for self-management of chronic illness

Detta är en avhandling från Sundsvall : Mittuniversitetet

Sammanfattning: Individuals’ self-management styles are crucial for how they manage to live with illness. Commonly investigated factors include social support, self-efficacy, health beliefs, and demographics. There is a gap in the literature with regard to in-depth studies of how those factors actually influence an individual’s self-management. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the underlying mechanisms of self-management from the perspective of individuals living with chronic illness. Interviews were conducted with 47 individuals with various chronic illnesses, some of them repeatedly over two and a half years (a total of 107 interviews). The material was analysed with; constructive grounded theory, content analysis, phenomenography, and interpretive description. The Self-management Support Model identified aspects that influenced participants’ self-management: economic and social situation, social support, views and perspectives on illness, attribution of responsibility, and ability to integrate self-management into an overall life situation. For example, individuals with a life-oriented or disease-oriented perspective on illness prioritized different aspects of self-management. People who attributed internal responsibility performed a more complex self-management regimen than individuals who attributed external responsibility. In conclusion, individuals who were creative and resourceful had a better chance of tailoring a self-management regimen that suited them well. People in more disadvantaged positions (e.g., financial strain, limited support, or severe intrusive illness) experienced difficulty in finding a method of self-management that fit their life situation. These findings can inspire healthcare providers to initiate a reflective dialogue about self-management with their patients.