Theme 5: Patient self-management of chronic disease
Developing technology to enable patients to manage their own conditions.
'Self-management' covers a range of things that people can do to help themselves live with – and improve – a long-term health condition.
This could be, for example, people with asthma using inhalers to get on-the-spot relief from symptoms. Or it could be a diabetic patient using smartphone reminders to check their blood glucose.
Self-management can help free up time, for both patients and the healthcare professionals looking after them. Especially for patients with long-term conditions, like high blood pressure. Such patients would typically need frequent consultations to manage their condition.
However, and most importantly, self-management can also improve people's health compared to standard care.
The theme develops and tests new ways (interventions) for people to self-manage their long-term health conditions effectively. Improving their health and helping to free up healthcare resources.
To aid this, the theme also focuses on developing and using technology to underpin these new interventions. For example, using websites or mobile phone apps to help people track and get feedback on their mood, weight or blood pressure.
This theme focuses on conditions including:
- type 2 diabetes;
- chronic lung disease;
- gestational hypertension (high blood pressure during pregnancy); and
- bipolar disorder.
To do this, the theme uses a mix of interdisciplinary skills. This will include observational work, randomised controlled trials, economic evaluations and qualitative research techniques.
Professor Richard McManus, Professor of Primary Care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, and a practising GP, leads this theme.