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Self-management, self-management support needs and interventions in advanced cancer: a scoping review


Patients with advanced cancer can experience illness trajectories similar to other progressive chronic disease conditions where undertaking self-management (SM) and provision of self-management support (SMS) becomes important. The main objectives of this study were to map the literature of SM strategies and SMS needs of patients with advanced cancer and to describe SMS interventions tested in this patient population. A scoping review of all literature published between 2002 and 2016 was conducted. A total of 11 094 articles were generated for screening from MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane Library databases. A final 55 articles were extracted for inclusion in the review. Included studies identified a wide variety of SM behaviours used by patients with advanced cancer including controlling and coping with the physical components of the disease and facilitating emotional and psychosocial adjustments to a life-limiting illness. Studies also described a wide range of SMS needs, SMS interventions and their effectiveness in this patient population. Findings suggest that SMS interventions addressing SMS needs should be based on a sound understanding of the core skills required for effective SM and theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Future research should examine how a patient-oriented SMS approach can be incorporated into existing models of care delivery and the effects of SMS on quality of life and health system utilisation in this population.

  • self-management
  • self-management support
  • advanced cancer
  • life-limiting illness
  • chronic disease management
  • palliative care
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