Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a complex health problem, which requires individuals to invest considerable time and energy in managing their health and adhering to multifaceted treatment regimens. Objectives: To review studies delivering self-management interventions to people with CKD (Stages 1-4) and assess whether these interventions improve patient outcomes. Design: Systematic review. Methods: Nine electronic databases (MedLine, CINAHL, EMBASE, ProQuest Health & Medical Complete, ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health, The Cochrane Library, The Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database, Web of Science and PsycINFO) were searched using relevant terms for papers published between January 2003 and February 2013. Results: The search strategy identified 2,051 papers, of which 34 were retrieved in full with only 5 studies involving 274 patients meeting the inclusion criteria. Three studies were randomised controlled trials, a variety of methods were used to measure outcomes, and four studies included a nurse on the self-management intervention team. There was little consistency in the delivery, intensity, duration and format of the self-management programmes. There is some evidence that knowledge- and health-related quality of life improved. Generally, small effects were observed for levels of adherence and progression of CKD according to physiologic measures. Conclusion: The effectiveness of self-management programmes in CKD (Stages 1-4) cannot be conclusively ascertained, and further research is required. It is desirable that individuals with CKD are supported to effectively self-manage day-to-day aspects of their health.