Disease management is defined as “a system of coordinated healthcare interventions and communications for populations with conditions in which patient self-care efforts are significant.
For people who can access health care practitioners or peer support it is the process whereby persons with long-term conditions (and often family/friend/carer) share knowledge, responsibility and care plans with healthcare practitioners and/or peers. To be effective it requires whole system implementation with community social support networks, a range of satisfying occupations and activities relevant to the context, clinical professionals willing to act as partners or coaches and on-line resources which are verified and relevant to the country and context. Knowledge sharing, knowledge building and a learning community are integral to the concept of disease management. It is a population health strategy as well as an approach to personal health. It may reduce healthcare costs and/or improve quality of life for individuals by preventing or minimizing the effects of disease, usually a chronic condition, through knowledge, skills, enabling a sense of control over life (despite symptoms of disease) and integrative care.