Integrating self-management support fundamentals in primary care: piloting a theory-based learning program

Lotte Timmermans, Peter Decat, Veerle Foulon, Ann Van Hecke, Mieke Vermandere, Birgitte Schoenmakers

Keywords: Self-management support, Primary health care, Educational program


Self-management support of chronic conditions is a crucial yet complex process. Despite its importance, healthcare professionals face challenges in providing adequate support due to a lack of awareness and knowledge. Before implementing support tools in primary care, it is essential to address misconceptions and raise awareness on the concept of self-management. To address these gaps, a blended learning program focussing on education and enablement of healthcare professionals in primacy care was developed.


We developed a blended learning program based on Horton’s Absorb-Do-Connect model. First, we collected evidence from existing literature and from interviews, focus groups, and brainstorm sessions with healthcare professionals. Afterwards, we integrated this evidence in the learning program using the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) model by Michie et al. We designed and combined self-learning activities with peer-learning activities. Comprising four different modules, the learning program combines online education, reflection on real-life cases, and discussion with peers. To implement and pilot this learning program, a minimum of 24 healthcare professionals in primary care will be recruited to participate in this study.


To measure the impact of the learning program, we will apply Kirkpatrick’s model, focusing on the level of reaction, learning and behaviour. We will employ a mixed-method approach to ensure a more comprehensive analysis of the results. Quantitative data will be collected through an electronic survey (Qualtrics XM), while qualitative data focusing on participants’ experiences will be collected through focus groups.


To strengthen implementation of self-management support in primary care, we need to tackle misconceptions and knowledge gaps on the concept. By educating and empowering healthcare professionals, we can provide them with the necessary tools and understanding to support self-management in practice.

Points for discussion:

Raising awareness through conversation is the essential first step to establishing self-management support.


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