What skills do primary health care professionals need to provide effective self-management support?: seeking consumer perspectives
Litt, John Charles
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Objective This research aimed to identify the skills required by primary health care (PHC) professionals to provide effective chronic condition prevention and self -management (CCPSM) support, according to the perceptions of a sample of Australian consumers and carers. Methods Qualitative data was collected and integrated from a focus group, key informant interviews and National Stakeholder meetings and a National Workshop, supported by an extensive literature review. Results With the exception of health professionals specifically trained or currently working in this area, consumers and carers perceive there is a lack of understanding, competence and practice of CCPSM support among PHC professionals. Discussion The PHC workforce appears not to have the full set of skills needed to meet the growing burden of chronic conditions on the health system. Recommendations include education and training that focuses on improved communication skills, knowledge of community support resources, identification of consumers' strengths and current capacities, collaborative care with other health professionals, consumers and carers, and psychosocial skills to understand the impact of chronic conditions from the person’s perspective.
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