Self-management support of vulnerable populations (Harkness/B.Braun Fellowship)


Joerg W. Haslbeck

Host Country Mentors
Ruth McCorkle, PhD, FAAN, Yale University School of Nursing
Penny Hollander Feldman, PhD, Center for Home Care Policy & Research/N.Y.C.

Home Country Mentors
Prof. Dr. Doris Schaeffer, Dr. Andreas Büscher

Funded by
The Commonwealth Fund, New York (USA)
B.Braun-Stiftung, Melsungen (Germany)

Project Summary

Internationally, a broad variety of self-management programs exist and self-management support in chronic illness is increasingly discussed in Germany as well. Nevertheless, it is still under-investigated how vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups can be adequately supported by self-management programs. Therefore, this project will focus on expanding the knowledge base on self-management (support) in chronic illness by identifying areas for appropriate professional interventions based on a systematic review of literature. Attention is paid to a topic that is rarely investigated: elderly people living alone with chronic conditions and their own perspective on day-to-day chronic illness self-management. This is a vulnerable and often hard-to-reach group of health care users and the subject has not yet been the focus of systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.

The main objective of the research project was to identify self-management potentials and restrictions of single-living elderly women and men with chronic illness, a both vulnerable and hard-to-reach group. It was conducted in close exchange with health care experts and researchers in the United States of America. Two distinct perspectives were fused: (I) A systematic analysis of existing literature on this particular group was conducted based on the principles of critical interpretive synthesis which has proven to be useful in reviewing evidence on vulnerable groups. It was entwined with (II) expert interviews with stakeholders in health care to gain in-depth insight into self-management support and chronic illness care for vulnerable people. The research results expand the knowledge base about self-management in chronic illness in both Germany and the U.S. with regard to single-living elderly people. Study outcomes also contribute to the development of appropriate intervention strategies for self-management support in both countries.

The study was part of the Harkness/B.Braun Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice funded by the Commonwealth Fund. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for health services researchers and practitioners to study how the United States approaches health policy issues, share lessons learned from their home countries, and develop a multinational perspective and network of contacts to facilitate policy exchange and collaboration that continues beyond the fellowship experience.


Related Publications

  • Haslbeck, J. (2010): Medikamente und chronische Krankheit. Selbstmanagementerfordernisse im Krankheitsverlauf aus Sicht der Erkrankten. Bern: Huber Weitere Informationen
  • Haslbeck, J./Schaeffer, D. (2009): Routines in medication management: the perspective of people with chronic conditions. Chronic Illness 5, Nr. 3, 184-196 Abstract
  • Haslbeck, J. (2007): Selbstmanagementförderung bei chronischer Krankheit – Handlungsfeld professioneller Pflege. Die Schwester Der Pfleger 48 Nr. 12, 1119-1121
  • Haslbeck, J./Schaeffer, D. (2007): Self-management support in chronic illness: history, concept and challenges. Pflege 20, Nr. 2, 82-92 Abstract
  • Haslbeck, J./Schaeffer, D./Müller-Mundt, G. (2007): Selbstmanagement im Umgang mit Arzneimitteln: Ambulante professionelle Pflege kann chronisch Kranke fördern. Forum Sozialstation 31, Nr. 146, 34-36



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