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Supporting self-management for patients with complex medical needs: recommendations of a working group.

Bayliss EA, Bosworth HB, Noel PH, Wolff JL, Damush TM, Mciver L. Supporting self-management for patients with complex medical needs: recommendations of a working group. Chronic Illness. 2007 Jun 1; 3(2):167-75.

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Increasing numbers of persons live with complex chronic medical needs and are at risk for poor health outcomes. These patients require unique self-management support, as they must manage many, often interacting, tasks. As part of a conference on Managing Complexity in Chronic Care sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, a working group was convened to consider self-management issues specific to complex chronic care. In this paper, we assess gaps in current knowledge on self-management support relevant to this population, report on the recommendations of our working group, and discuss directions for future study. We conclude that this population requires specialized, multidimensional self-management support to achieve a range of patient-centred goals. New technologies and models of care delivery may provide opportunities to develop this support. Validation and quantification of these processes will require the development of performance measures that reflect the needs of this population, and research to prove effectiveness.

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