Research evaluating self-management of chronic conditions points to the effectiveness of interventions' changing the health behavior of individuals. However, we know little about how self-management is negotiated within health services. The authors designed a qualitative investigation to illuminate the quantitative findings of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a self-management program for people with inflammatory bowel disease. They conducted in-depth interviews with physicians and patients, and qualitative analysis illuminated the nature of doctor-patient encounters and possible reasons for lack of change in patient satisfaction with the consultation. The findings suggest that factors inhibiting effective patient-centered consultations include failure of physicians to incorporate expressed need relevant to people's self-management activities fully, interpretation of self-management as compliance with medical instructions, and the organization of outpatients' clinics. Giving attention to these barriers might maximize the opportunities for patient self-management of chronic illness based on a therapeutic alliance with health care professionals. © 2005 Sage Publications.
- Chronic disease