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Self-management prepares patients and their families to take an active role in their health care. In the traditional medical model, the patient has symptoms and goes to the doctor for treatment. The doctor is the one who knows what to do and controls the treatment and outcome. This model works well for acute problems such as a broken leg or heart attack or in the early days following injury. As recovery progresses or medical conditions require long term solutions, the person has a much bigger role to play.

Self-management changes the way we think about our health. While the doctor and other health care professionals can help, we now recognize that so much of our health depends on us and what we do. This means we all need to learn to care for ourselves. To do this we need to learn how to help ourselves and help the doctor help us.

Taking an active role in your health care leads to better health outcomes. In self-management, people are empowered to learn...

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