Open Access Research article

An exploration of self-management support in the context of palliative nursing: a modified concept analysis

Bridget Johnston1*, Liz Rogerson2, Jurate Macijauskiene3, Aurelija Blaževičienė3 and Patricia Cholewka4

Author Affiliations

1 Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2HA, UK

2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, 11 Airlie Place, Dundee Scotland, DD1 4HJ, UK

3 Faculty of Nursing, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Mickeviciaus 9, Kaunas, LT-44307, Lithuania

4 Department of Nursing, New York City College of Technology, CUNY, 300 Jay Street, P-505, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

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BMC Nursing 2014, 13:21  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-13-21

Published: 23 July 2014



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.

Self-care; Self-management; Palliative; Nursing; Death and dying; Education; Concept analysis; Literature review