A new series of research projects, led by three of the UK’s leading universities, will develop our understanding of the value patients place on self-management support in coping with long-term health conditions including diabetes and chronic pain. The projects will use innovative ‘discrete choice’ techniques, using hypothetical scenarios, as a way of finding out patients’ preferences for the types of self-management support they need.

The Health Foundation has made three awards totalling £480,000 to the Universities of Aberdeen, Sheffield and York to generate new knowledge into this area which will ultimately help decision makers within the NHS to identify, adapt and refine support for their patients.

Self-management support is the assistance given to those with long-term conditions to help them handle their health on a daily basis. Better self-management support means that patients move away from being passive recipients of care to having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions through useful conversations and collaborations with health professionals.

All three projects will run separately to each other, but combined will significantly build up knowledge of value and support for self-management. The results will provide NHS commissioners, providers and clinicians with the evidence needed to implement further support for patients whose lives can be improved through supported self-management.

 The three projects are:

  • University of Aberdeen   Principal Investigator Dr Christopher Burton and his colleagues will focus specifically on how people with chronic pain value the different attributes of self management support that are made personal.
  • University of Sheffield   Principal Investigator Dr Hasan Basarir and his colleagues will look specifically into the value of self-management support interventions for people with diabetes in both quality of life and monetary terms.
  • University of York   Dr Andrea Manca and colleagues will conduct a project that will produce evidence into the value that people with long-term conditions place on self-management.

Helen Crisp, Assistant Director of Research at the Health Foundation comments: 'The combination of these three projects will produce new knowledge and thinking as to what patients really value in terms of their care, which could result in potential savings for healthcare providers. We are looking forward to working with these internationally renowned experts in discrete choice experiments at Aberdeen, Sheffield and York. The findings from these projects will further our mission to improve the quality of care.'

The research findings for all three projects will be available in early 2016.  

Media contact

Mike Findlay, Media Manager
T: 020 7257 8047
E: mike.findlay@health.org.uk