Long-term conditions (LTC) are any ongoing, long-term or recurring conditions that can have a significant impact on people’s lives (NHC 2007). Supporting people with LTCs to manage their conditions becomes more important as the population ages and people are increasingly managing more than one condition. Self-management support can be viewed in two ways: as a portfolio of techniques and tools that help patients choose healthy behaviours; and as a fundamental transformation of the patient–caregiver relationship into a collaborative partnership (Health Foundation 2011).
Any self-management support must:
- be appropriate for the person with the LTC and their family and whānau
- be developed in partnership with the person with the LTC
- focus on reducing inequities in health.
This paper was developed as the result of three sector workshops in 2015 to share best practice and innovation for the primary and community health sectors. It includes definitions of key terms related to LTCs, as well as links to examples of current work in New Zealand. It has been written as a background paper for funders, planners and practitioners in New Zealand. Appendix 3 contains diabetes specific additional information.