WH&Y authors: Professor Kate Steinbeck

Citation: Gauci, J., Bloomfield, J., Lawn, S., Towns, S. and Steinbeck, K. (2021), Effectiveness of self‐management programmes for adolescents with a chronic illness: A systematic review. J Adv Nurs. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14801



Aim: To assess what is known about the effectiveness of face-to-face self-management programmes designed specifically for adolescents (10–19 years) with a chronic illness.

Design: A systematic review and synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM).

Data sources: Six international web-based reference libraries were searched with a date range of 1946 to July 2020.

Review method: The PRISMA statement and SWiM guideline were used for reporting the methods and results. The PICO format was used to develop a focused clinical question and the eligibility criteria of our review. Quality assessment of the included studies was performed using the Cochrane Effective Practice Organisation of Care criteria.

Results: Eight studies (four randomized controlled trials and four descriptive designs) met the inclusion criteria and were published between 2003 and 2017. Results of the review: Three studies demonstrated measures of illness control which showed initial improvements in adherence as a result of the interventions but failed to demonstrate sustained adherence over time. Booster sessions were identified as an effective strategy to improve adherence, but were often omitted.

Conclusions: There is a limited body of evidence on the effectiveness of self-management programmes specifically developed for adolescents with a chronic illness, an important but under researched area. Future research lies in the development of more rigorous studies that focus on quantitative outcome measures for evaluating the effectiveness of self-management programmes to guide the development of future programmes.

Impact: It is crucial for adolescents with a chronic illness to develop independence and the self-management skills required to effectively manage their chronic condition as they transition to adulthood. On current evidence, in planning future self-management interventions should include booster sessions. Nurses with additional training and experience have a key role in supporting adolescents with a chronic illness to develop self-management skills as they assume responsibility for their own healthcare.

About The Authors


Kate Steinbeck is an endocrinologist and adolescent physician, and Professor and Medical Foundation ...