Looking after your health with a long-term condition: Self-Management and Support in the ACT

“Self-management” of long-term conditions is often seen as part of the answer to the growing incidence of long-term conditions, and rising demand for chronic conditions care. But what does ‘self-management’ really mean to people with long-term conditions?

As part of our Community Health Literacy Project HCCA has heard from more than 130 people who have one or more long-term condition and who use health services in the ACT, in a survey and in-depth conversations.

We share what we learnt in the report, There’s What Your Doctors Say and Then There’s the Real World: Long-Term Conditions Self-Management and Support in the ACT

People we spoke to told us that for them, self-management is about more than managing, monitoring and reducing their symptoms, it also means coping with and thriving despite the life impacts of ill-health, learning to get the most out of their interactions with health professionals, and figuring out how to get what they need from a complex health and human services system.

For many people we spoke with, COVID-19 made self-management harder. They were early adopters of a range of practices to protect themselves (such as mask-wearing and social distancing). However COVID-19 also presented some unexpected innovations that can support self-management. Participants were particularly positive about telehealth and electronic prescribing, because – for many though not all people and circumstances – their convenience helps simplify self-management.

You can read here the full report, and recommendations to improve support for self-management in the ACT.

Last updated: 15/9/2021