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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | September 2018

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Self-care for chronic oedema

Self-care for chronic oedema
Chronic oedema

Article topics: Chronic oedema, Health behaviour change, Long-term conditions, Lymphoedema, Self-care

Many government and healthcare strategies now advocate supporting self-care in the management of long-term conditions (LTCs). This approach has been driven by the increasing number of poly-morbid, obese and elderly people in the UK, which is putting an immense strain on already stretched health and social care resources. The emphasis on promoting self-care throughout the illness trajectory has been a pivotal aspect of nursing care for more than 50 years and this approach in the management of chronic oedema has always been a key aspect of treatment plans by specialists in this field. Practitioners need to be skilled in assessing the self-care needs of patients and to be ready to adopt this approach and provide appropriate support. This article gives an overview of self-care for people with chronic oedema and focuses on how nurses can encourage and support patients to do this. A case study demonstrates the importance of thorough and accurate assessment to encourage self-care and health behaviour change.