Chronic Condition Self-Management

of chronic conditions

People with chronic health conditions (long-lasting conditions that can be managed but not necessarily cured) have different needs to those with acute health problems such as a broken limb or a strained muscle.

Self-management of Chronic Conditions

The most effective way to manage chronic conditions is a collaborative approach between the individual, their doctor
and health professionals. This partnership needs to be a balanced combination of good medical management and
good self-management.

Self-management involves the individual with the chronic disease/condition engaging in activities which protect and promote health, monitoring and managing of symptoms and signs of illness, managing the impacts of illness on functioning, emotions and interpersonal relationships and adhering to treatment regimes.
(Gruman and Von Korff, 1996)

Dr Kate Lorig, Dr PH, an American professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and one of the leading researchers in this area, works with the notion of self-management as being about enabling 'participants to make informed choices, to adapt new perspectives and generic skills that can be applied to new problems as they arise, to practice new health behaviours, and to maintain or regain emotional stability'. (Kate Lorig et al, 1993)

Effective self-management has been evidenced to improve health outcomes but can be challenging to achieve by the individual without support. This support needs to be provided by a specifically trained consultant to achieve such positive results. At nb&a group, we have consultants who are trained and accredited to deliver the Flinders Program™ care planning process.

The Flinders Program™aims to provide a consistent, reproducible approach to assessing the key components of self-management that:

  • improves the partnership between the client and health professional(s)
  • collaboratively identifies problems and therefore better (i.e. more successfully) targets interventions
  • is a motivational process for the client and leads to sustained behaviour change
  • allows measurement over time and tracks change
  • has a predictive ability, i.e. improvements in self-management behaviour as measured by the Partners in Health scale, related to improved health outcomes.

(Flinders University, 2015)

At nb&a group, we can develop a self-management of chronic conditions program as a stand-alone, individually tailored program or integrated as part of the traditional rehabilitation and/or return to work program.

Better Choices, Better Health® Workshop
(Self-management of Chronic Conditions Group Program)

Restoring an individual to a meaningful and long-lasting quality of life, focusing on self-management to take control and put the individual first.

What is wellness?

Having a long term health condition affects all areas of a person’s life. It can turn their world upside down and greatly reduce their quality of life.

Wellness is the condition of good physical and mental health. This program focuses on supporting the individual in self-management to restore and maintain wellness. It is about a person taking control and putting themselves first.

Self-management explained

Self-management means actively taking responsibility for one’s own health, wellbeing and behaviour, in partnership with doctors and other health professionals, using skills and strategies to achieve the best agreed outcomes and being in control of your life.

Program format

The program is delivered in a group setting over six weeks, with participants attending for two and a half hours, once a week.

Facilitated by two Stanford University trained leaders, both with long-term health conditions, the program is based on the worldwide and respected Stanford University Self-Management Program (Better Choices, Better Health® Workshop) and is also supported by Flinders University.

Topics covered include:

  • techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
  • appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
  • appropriate use of medications
  • communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • nutrition
  • decision making
  • how to evaluate new treatments.


Research undertaken by health professionals at Stanford University was conducted in partnership with people with long-term health conditions to see what supports they need to live as well as possible. As a result, this group program was developed and many people worldwide have participated and the positive results keep growing.

It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective.  Sessions are highly participative, where mutual support and success build confidence in an ability to manage health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

When an individual is supported to discover what wellness is for them and their unique situation, it can be life changing.



What people are saying

‘The tools I learned in the course have enabled me to work more effectively with a psychologist that my GP has referred me to. I cannot believe the changes in myself and I am so grateful to you both [the trainers] for helping me along my journey and continuing to help me with further support.’

‘You both [group trainers] have credibility and your passion and belief in what you do shone through. Will use the strategies taught to address challenging issues which may occur in the future.’

‘Keep up the good work. This course has helped me face things I would never have thought of. Well done.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was much more than I expected and would recommend it to anyone that is grieving like me or who suffers with anxiety and panic attacks like me. Looking forward to some strategies in the coming sessions. I will recommend the course to as many as possible. Great job.’

More information

For further information about our Self-managment of Chronic Conditions program, please contact us via email using the link below or telephone 08 8352 6344.

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