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The role of self-management is often ambiguous, yet, it is an important area in clinical practice for palliative nurses. A clear conceptual understanding, however, of what it represents is lacking.

This paper reports an analysis of the concept of self-management support in palliative nursing. Avant and Walker's method was used to guide this concept analysis. A search of electronic databases (1990–2013), use of internet search engines and supplementary hand searching produced an international data set of reviews, empirical research, editorials, protocols and guidelines.

Based on the analysis self-management support in palliative nursing has been defined as assessing, planning, and implementing appropriate care to enable the patient to live until they die and supporting the patient to be given the means to master or deal with their illness or their effects of their illness themselves.

Clarity with the concept of self-management support and palliative nursing could enable nurses to provide more patient and family centred care to people facing life threatening illnesses.


This work was originally published in BMC Nursing, available at doi:10.1186/1472-6955-13-21.

© 2014 Johnston et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credite

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