Own direction - Health skills and own direction
Own management or self management is dealing with a (chronic) condition in such a way that that condition is optimally integrated into daily life. Taking into account all symptoms, treatment and physical, psychological and social consequences, and associated lifestyle. Self-management means that patients themselves can choose to what extent they want to control their own lives and have control over how available care is deployed. In self-management, the patient strives to achieve or maintain an optimal quality of life.
This description is long, but makes clear what it is about. Self-management is about how people lead their lives, with their illness and the care they need. Not the disease or the treatment is central, but the way of life of the patient. It is about what people find important in their lives. And, healthy or sick, that is quite different. It also differs how much directing people want to take and can take.
Own management requires a lot from a patient. He must have knowledge of the disease and be able to look up and process information. He needs to know what caregivers can do and what he can do himself. In order to be able to manage the patient, the patient must also recognize signals, be able to follow the course of the disease, recognize problems in time and devise solutions for them. And finally, the patient must also choose the solution that best fits his life and perform it. It is not easy: every day to adjust your choices to the situation of that moment in a disease that can always change. That costs energy, but often also gives people more satisfaction and quality of life (English 2015).
It is also part of their own management that the patient builds up a good (work) relationship with his care providers, has an active role in contacts with the care providers and has an active share in joint decision making (shared decision-making).
A patient who wants to keep the control in his hands requires a lot of health skills. In his own direction, he adds that he needs skills to solve daily problems: problem-solving skills.
In addition to the health skills mentioned, the patient's own management requires the following problem-solving skills:
- Think of different solutions to his problem or to get possible solutions from the information.
- Choosing a solution that best suits his situation and person.
- Try a solution.
- See if it works (evaluate) and if not: see which obstacles there are and whether they can remove them, or try a different solution that might work better.
- Ask for help from others: informal help from family, friends or neighbors, or professional help.
- Building a cooperative relationship with informal help and a professional healthcare provider.