Are children just little adults? A concept analysis of children's chronic condition self-management

NA Saxby, Sharon Lawn

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


    Nurses working in pediatric settings place high value on children learn-ing the skills, behaviors and attitudes they need to manage their own chron-ic condition, now and into their future lives. Learning age and developmen-tally appropriate self-management helps children to adapt to the demands of their chronic condition. Although the literature is replete with studies that examine self-management in children, methods and results are often inconclusive and inconsistent. One reason for this is that the concept of “children’s self-management” is poorly defined. Researchers and health care professionals commonly confuse “children’s self-management” with related well-defined concepts including self-management (for adults), self-care, adherence and concordance. The aim of this study was to analyze the concept of “children’s chronic condition self-management” in children with cystic fibrosis, diabetes and asthma using a modified version of Rog-ers Evolutionary Method. A literature search was completed using several search engines (CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, Biomedical Reference Col-lection, Nursing and Allied Health Collection, Psychological and Behav-ioral Sciences Collection, PsycInfo, SocINDEX, Embase, Informit) and included all articles published up to December 2014. After applying the selection criteria, the sample for this study consisted of 33 articles. “Chil-dren’s self-management” emerged as a distinct, empirically definable term that acknowledges the role of a health care triad (ie, the child, parents/fam-ily and health care team) in self-management. This triad works in partner-ship to complete activities that protect and promote health and wellbeing, with a gradual shift to the child becoming an autonomous self-manager over time. However, this is a highly nuanced process, with little articulation for each member of this triad about how these important transition processes can be achieved. Further analyses showed that children’s self-management was underpinned by three core themes consistent with developmental theo-ries: 1) patterns of self-management skill development are generally orderly and predictable; 2) self-management skill development is not a consistently even process; and 3) children develop self-management skills at different rates. Attributes and antecedents surrounding the concept were also exam-ined. “Children’s self-management” is a complex, varied and dynamic pro-cess. This concept analysis paves the way to a better understanding of the role children have in their own self-management; thus, expanding nursing knowledge and providing a solid basis for future research.This study was supported by Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme: Postgraduate Scholarship (Australia).
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number675
    Pages (from-to)449
    Number of pages1
    JournalPediatric Pulmonology
    Issue numberS41
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2015
    EventThe 29th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference -
    Duration: 8 Oct 2015 → …


    Dive into the research topics of 'Are children just little adults? A concept analysis of children's chronic condition self-management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this