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About Supported Self-management

Supported self-management (SSM) (this term is connected with and sometimes also called Self-management support (SMS)) enables people and whānau (families and communities) to be supported in their endeavours to manage their health and well-being on a daily basis. SSM is considered particularly important and helpful for people with long term conditions and disability. Māori, Pacific and disabled people are at greater risk of living with such lifelong conditions and their health outcomes remain disparate.

The goal of our research

Our approach to Supported Self-Management aims to facilitate a more inclusive, culturally responsive approach to supporting Self Management (SM) by healthcare professionals, and within service delivery and policy.

Underpinned by a strengths-based approach, our research explores social, cultural, systematic and environmental aspects that impact the delivery of support for SM from the perspective of the people themselves. It is these perspectives that can then be used to inform and reframe the understanding of and manifestation of support for SM by healthcare professionals, service delivery and policy.

Embedding such approaches will potentially contribute to reducing avoidable, unjust and unfair differences in health.

Research team

This programme of research is led by Leigh Hale , Ofa Dewes and Bernadette Jones.

Research and community partners:

Turanga Health (Te Tairāwhiti), Tongan Health Society (Auckland), the Donald Beasley Institute, Health Navigator NZ, Health Literacy NZ.

Prior and current research


Article collection 2021/22: 'Challenging the concept of Self-management support in unique and diverse populations' Frontiers in Rehabilitation Research

Editorial: Hale L, Oosman S and Stewart AV (2022) Editorial: Challenging the concept of self-management support in unique and diverse populations. Front. Rehabilit. Sci. 3:999528. doi: 10.3389/fresc.2022.999528

Resources supporting SSM

Members of the programme of research have been involved in creating a number of resources to support SSM. A selection provided below:

Wellconnected NZ Wellconnected NZ focuses on how people with long term conditions can develop and maintain meaningful social connection with others in their community, with improved health outcomes as a secondary benefit.

Diabetes Community Exercise The Diabetes Community Exercise Programme (DCEP) is an inter-professional, coordinated, patient-centred, whānau-supported package of care specifically developed to target Māori and Pacific people and those living in low socioeconomic areas. Funded by HRC project grant

Bridges self-management Bridges is a social enterprise that exists to make a difference to the lives of people who live with acute and long-term conditions, by working with teams from health, social care and the third sector, to define and deliver best practice in self-management support. Bridges is led by our International Advisory Member, Prof Fiona Jones.

Dementia care for Māori

Living Well Toolkit resources for clients and clinicians The toolkit is a resource for clients living with long-term conditions. The toolkit is built on 10 years of research findings listening to what people with long-term conditions want from their healthcare.



Māori and Pacific Health

Ingham, T. R., Jones, B., Perry, M., King, P. T., Baker, G., Hickey, H., … Nikora, L. W. (2022). The multidimensional impacts of inequities for tāngata whaikaha Māori (indigenous Māori with lived experience of disability) in Aotearoa, New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19, 13558. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013558

Baker, G., King, P. T., Jones, B., & Ingham, T. R. (2021). Meeting the Crown's te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments and obligations to Māori with lived experience of disability through the Health and Disability System Review. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1535), 44-54. Retrieved from

Dewes O, McColl A. (2015) Research with Pacific church communities: overdone or undercommitted? Journal of Primary Health Care 2015, 7(4):349-50.

Jones, B., Ingham, T. R., Cram, F., Dean, S., & Davies, C. (2013). An indigenous approach to explore health-related experiences among Māori parents: The Pukapuka Hauora asthma study. BMC Public Health, 13, 228. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-228

Health professional support

Gudgeon, M., Wilkinson, A., & Hale, L. (2022). Healthcare professional students' perceptions of supporting patient self-management: A mixed method study. Chronic Illness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/17423953211073367 Feedback

Areli, E., Godfrey, H. K., Perry, M. A., Hempel, D., Saipe, B., Grainger, R., Hale, L., & Devan, H. (2020). 'I think there is nothing.. that is really comprehensive': Healthcare professionals' views on recommending online resources for pain self-management. British Journal of Pain. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2049463720978264

Darlow B, McKinlay E, Gallagher P, Beckingsale L, Coleman K., Perry MA, Pullon S. (2017) Building and expanding interprofessional teaching teams. Journal of Primary Health Care, 9(1):29-33.

Wilkinson, A., Atlas, J., Nelson, K., & Mulligan, H. (2020). Client perceptions of engaging with a health and social care navigation service: A qualitative study. Chronic Illness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1742395320937046

Health care systems

Norris, P., Cousins, K., Horsburgh, S., Keown, S., Churchward, M., Samaranayaka, A., Smith, A., & Marra, C. (2023). Impact of removing prescription co-payments on the use of costly health services: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research, 23, 31. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-09011-0

McKinlay, E., Esplin, J., Howard-Brown, C., Smith, J., & McBain, L. (2020). Implementing a managed clinical network in a small country: A New Zealand case study. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 1-8.

Perry, M. A., Ingham, T., Jones, B., & Mirfin-Veitch, B. (2020). "At risk" and 'Vulnerable"! Reflections on inequities and the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 48(3), 107-116. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/48.3.02

van Rooyen, A., Water, T., Rasmussen, S., Diesfeld, K. (2015) What makes a child a 'competent' child? New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1426), 88-95).

Intellectual and Learning Disabilities

Milner, P., Conder, J. & Mirfin-Veitch, B. (2020) The aims and complexities of conducting inclusive research. Commentary on “Are individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities included in research? A review of the literature” (Jones, Ben-David, & Hole, 2020), Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

McKenzie, N., Mirfin-Veitch, B., Conder, J. & Brandford, S. (2017). “I'm still here”: Exploring what matters to people with intellectual disability during advance care planning. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Trip, H., Conder, J., Hale, L., & Whitehead, L. (2016). The role of key workers in supporting people with intellectual disability in the self-management of their diabetes: A qualitative New Zealand study. Health & Social Care in the Community, 24(6), 789-798. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12262

Whitehead, L. C., Trip, H. T., Hale, L. A., & Conder, J. (2016). Negotiated autonomy in diabetes self-management: The experiences of adults with intellectual disability and their support workers. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 60(4), 389-397. doi: 10.1111/jir.12257

Long term conditions

Hale, L., Higgs, C., Keen, D., & Smith, C. (2022). It is "all about relationships" in lifestyle programmes for adults living with type two diabetes underpinned by a person/whānau-centred care approach. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 3, 829542. doi: 10.3389/fresc.2022.829542

Burrell, B., Jordan, J., Crowe, M., Wilkinson, A., Jones, V., Harris, S., & Gillon, D. (2019). Using intervention mapping to design a self-management programme for older people with chronic conditions. Nursing Inquiry, 26, e12265. doi: 10.1111/nin.12265

Mulligan, H., Armstrong, A., Francis, R., Hitchcock, H., Hughes, E., Thompson, J., Wilkinson, A., & Hale, L. (2018). Engagement in exercise for people with Parkinson's: What is meaningful? New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 46(1), 19-28. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/46.1.04

Wilkinson, A., Bowen, L., Gustavsson, E., Håkansson, S., Littleton, N., McCormick, J., Thompson, M., & Mulligan, H. (2019). Maintenance and development of social connection by people with long-term conditions: A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 16(11), 1875. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16111875

Supporting Early Career Researchers

Opportunities for research:

Members of the research team are open to enquiries about future study.

If you are interested in any other topics related to SSM or SMS let us know and we can put you in contact with relevant members of our research team.

For further information:


Professor Leigh Hale, in collaboration and partnership with colleagues from around the country, are delighted to have been awarded an HRC Programme Grant. Work on the Programme Grant officially begins in 1 October 2023. Keep an eye out for our Programmes dedicated website! To read more about the aspirations of the programme's mahi.

Article collection 2021/22: 'Challenging the concept of Self-management support in unique and diverse populations' Frontiers in Rehabilitation Research. See links under publications section

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