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Self Management

Barlow Taxonomy

Barlow’s taxonomy is derived from a review of SM approaches reported in 145 studies on SM for a diverse range of chronic health conditions. The taxonomy consisted of eight components, which are presented in Table 7.

Abbreviated Code Code Description
Information Information about Condition Treatment Provision of information about the nature of specific conditions and treatment options from credible sources (e.g., information booklet).
Drug Drug Management Training on drug management strategies (e.g., field trip to practice taking medication, overcoming barriers to drug adherence).
Symptom Symptom Management SM training on managing specific symptoms of the disease (e.g., pain management, fatigue management, relaxation techniques).
Psychological Management of Psychological Consequences Mitigating psychological consequences associated with the conditions (e.g., anger management, management of depression and stress, disease acceptance).
Lifestyle Lifestyle (including exercise) Managing conditions through lifestyle changes (e.g., leisure activities, nutrition and diet, overcoming barriers to exercise adherence).
Social Social Support Alleviating the impact of the health conditions by strengthening patients’ connections with their social support network (e.g., family, friends, and peers).
Communication Communication Enhancing patients’ ability to effectively communicate with health and social service providers (e.g., assertiveness and communication strategy training).
Other Other Other SM strategies such as career planning, goal setting, and accessing support services.

Figure 4 shows the percentage of studies included in this review using each of the components from Barlow’s taxonomy. Interestingly, 65.1 % of the programs used components that would be categorized as other under Barlow’s taxonomy, making up the largest category. This is followed by management of psychological consequences (54.8%), symptom management (46.8%), and information about condition treatment (46.0%). Drug management was the least popular SM program component among the reviewed studies defined in Barlow’s Taxonomy, with only 4.8% of the programs using it.

Figure 4. Percentage of studies using each of the components from Barlow’s
taxonomy
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