DOI

Aim To explore how provision of self-management support to chronically-ill patients in resource-limited settings contributes to patient empowerment in chronic care. Design Concurrent descriptive mixed methods research. Methods A survey of 140 patients with chronic conditions administered at four time-points in 12 months. We conducted 14 interviews and four focus-group discussions with patients (N = 31); 13 healthcare provider interviews; and observations of four patient-support group meetings. Data were collected between April 2016 - May 2017 in rural Malawi. Qualitative data were analysed using a thematic approach and descriptive statistical analysis performed on survey data. Results Healthcare professionals facilitated patient empowerment through health education, although literacy levels and environmental factors affected self-management guidance. Information exchanged during patient-provider interactions varied and discussions centred around medical aspects and health promoting behaviour. Less than 40% of survey patients prepared questions prior to clinic consultations. Health education was often unstructured and delegated to non-physician providers, mostly untrained in chronic care. Patients accessed psychosocial support from volunteer-led community home-based care programmes. HIV support-groups regularly interacted with peers and practical skills exchanged in a supportive environment, reinforcing patient's self-mangement competence and proactiveness in health care. Conclusion For optimal self-management, reforms at inter-personal and organizational level are needed including; mutual patient-provider collaboration, diversifying access to self-management support resources and restructuring patient support-groups to cater to diverse chronic conditions. Impact Our study provides insights and framing of self-management support and empowerment for patients in long-term care in sub-Saharan Africa. Lessons drawn could feed into designing and delivering responsive chronic care interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Number of pages15
ISSN0309-2402
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

CPDF; CUNIT

    Research areas

  • chronic care, hiv, mixed methods, non-communicable diseases, nurse practitioners, nursing care, patient empowerment, self-management support, sub-saharan africa, CHRONIC DISEASE, NONCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES, CHRONIC ILLNESS, FRAMEWORK, PROGRAMS

ID: 3014416