Chronic disease is the most prominent health care problem in Canada. Improving patient self-management of chronic conditions can improve overall outcomes such as reducing blood pressure and glycemic levels; optimizing quality of care and improving health service use. Self-management support (SMS) enables patients to perform better medical management of their illness; carry out normal roles and activities; and manage the emotional impact of their illness in partnership with their health care provider.
There are increasing efforts to understand patients' experiences in managing their chronic conditions and accessing resources to support their self management. It is essential to develop a better understanding of the factors which might promote or hinder the success of programmes designed to support patient self management in the Canadian health system.