Lung diseases and self-management – what is missing?

In the last decade, much has been done in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of obstructive and restrictive lung diseases. However, prevalence and burden continue increasing and challenging health and social systems. The question that should be studied is: Why is this happening, if we have better guidelines, better pharmacologic options, and more attention has been given by health professionals and society to these issues?

We recognise the continued need for more engaged and active patients in the control of health conditions, requiring better support for the patients to develop self-management skills. Clearly defined content to be integrated into self-management programmes is known, but the actual field intervention faces many challenges.

Allied health professionals have a key role in the integration of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment in the day-to-day life of the patients. Supporting patient behaviour change is one of the biggest challenges faced by health professionals. Evidence remains lacking in defining recommendations for implementing self-management programs. Therefore, we must summarise the state of the art, clarify concepts, discuss field experiences, with the objective of establishing networks of identified needs for multicentre research in self-management.