Self-management (SM) is a core component of well-being and perceived health for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Most theories on SM share that self-efficacy, illness-perception and coping are determinants of SM behavior. Optimal support to improve SM should be tailored to the individual patient’s level of these determinants as SM abilities vary between patients. To tailor SM support, it is therefore necessary to assess the scores on these determinants. Unfortunately, no such instrument exists for clinical use. Therefore, the first goal of this study was to verify presumed correlations between SM and the determinants thereof. The second goal was to develop an instrument to assess the SM abilities.
In this cross-sectional, observational study, COPD patients completed the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ) and the Utrecht Proactive Coping Competence measure (UPCC) as well as the Self-Management Ability Scale (SMAS-30). Correlations between the questionnaires were assessed and a principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to identify the best-fitting items in the three independent variables related to SM. These items were used to create an instrument to assess SM abilities.
Hundred COPD patients (58 males, 41 females, 1 unknown) were included. The correlation between SM and self-efficacy, illness perception on concerns and proactive coping was moderate and significant (r=0.318, p<0.01; r=−.230, p<0.05; r=.426, p<0.01, respectively). PCA identified six UPCC items and nine GSES items that met the predefined criteria. These items were supplemented with the B-IPQ concerns item to establish the new instrument to assess SM abilities.