A Concept Analysis of Self-Management Behavior and its Implications in Research and Policy

Friday, 25 July 2014

Amanda Constance Green, MSN, RN, PHCNS-BC
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA

Purpose: The concept of self-management behavior (SMB) has been used extensively by professionals from multiple disciplines. Nursing scholars often use the concept with chronic illness and international health organizations, such as the World Health Organization, use the concept for disease management.  The purpose of this concept analysis was to create a clarifying theoretical definition of self-management behavior.

Methods:  The analysis was conducted conceptually in the context of Orem’s Self-care Framework. Walker and Avant’s eight-step concept analysis approach guided the analysis. A systematic review of the literature was conducted using seven relevant academic databases, including the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CIHAHL), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE, American Psychological Association’s PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO, and the Sociology Research Database SocINDEX. The search term used was “self-management behavior” and articles were limited to those published between April 2001 and 2013. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were stated. Attributes, antecedents and consequences were extracted to support the creation of theoretical and operational definitions.

Results: Eight dictionary definitions and 174 scholarly articles were reviewed. Sixteen percent of studies (n= 28) had a theoretical context and only seven (4.0%) included a definition of SMBs. Attributes, antecedents and consequences were identified. The newly constructed theoretical definition of self-management behaviors is: these behaviors are proactive actions related to lifestyle, a problem, planning, collaborating, and mental support, as well as reactive actions related to a circumstantial change, to achieve a goal. Physical, psychological, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics, specifically responsibility, as well as collaborative and received support, predict the type of SMBs. The results of SMBs are control over a problem and progress toward a goal, as well as individual and societal benefits. A model case will be presented to illustrate the constructed definition.

Conclusion: This theoretical definition of self-management behavior has potential to facilitate interprofessional and global collaboration in future research and clinical and public health practice.