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Sisyphus and self-management : the chronic condition self-management paradox

Harvey, Peter W. and Docherty, Barbara M. 2007, Sisyphus and self-management : the chronic condition self-management paradox, Australian health review, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 184-192.

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Title Sisyphus and self-management : the chronic condition self-management paradox
Author(s) Harvey, Peter W.ORCID iD for Harvey, Peter W. orcid.org/0000-0003-2983-663X
Docherty, Barbara M.
Journal name Australian health review
Volume number 31
Issue number 2
Start page 184
End page 192
Total pages 9
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic.
Publication date 2007-05
ISSN 0156-5788
Summary Chronic condition self-management is promoted internationally as not only a possible solution to the health problems of our increasingly chronically ill and ageing population, but as part of a new wave of consumer-led and volunteer-managed health care initiatives. Consumers are now indicating that they want to be more involved in the management of their lives and their health care options, while, especially in rural and smaller communities in Australia, a shortage of clinicians means that health care is rapidly changing. This emphasis on self-management raises crucial questions about where consumer action and control in health care should end and where clinical and medical intervention might begin. Hence, as in the case of Sisyphus and his rock, the self-management process is a difficult and demanding one that poses major challenges and loads for health system reformers and represents a struggle in which new difficulties are constantly emerging. This paper examines some implications of new self-management approaches to chronic illness from an ideological perspective and highlights key elements that underpin the effort to promote health-related lifestyle change. While peer-led self-management programs may assist certain individuals to live engaged and meaningful lives, the essential social and economic determinants of health and wellbeing mean that these programs are not the answer to our urgent need for major reform in the health care arena. Rather, self-management, from an ideological perspective, represents a minor adjustment to the fabric of our health system.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
1605 Policy And Administration
1110 Nursing
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©[2007, CSIRO Publishing]
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083851

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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