Cochrane reviews of educational and self-management interventions to guide nursing practice: A review

Samantha Coster, Yan Li, Ian James Norman

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The burden of chronic disease on healthcare services worldwide continues to grow, and the increased development of educational interventions which help patients to better manage their own condition is evident internationally. Objectives: This paper reports on findings of an updated review of Cochrane systematic reviews of interventions designed to improve patients' knowledge and skills to manage chronic disease, with particular reference to nursing contribution and practice. Methods: A broad search strategy was used to search the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify reviews of patient education, self-management, and self-care studies. Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility for inclusion and extracted data from the reviews. Findings: From a total of 882 reviews, 63 met the inclusion criteria, and 900 studies were identified. Most (68%, n = 43) of the 63 reviews were judged by Cochrane reviewers to provide inadequate evidence of the effectiveness of the interventions reviewed. Information on the profession of the person delivering the intervention was often not available, although 78% (n = 49) of reviews mentioned that nurses were involved in a proportion of studies delivering interventions either independently or as part of a multi-professional team. Conclusion: Educational programmes have definite benefits for patients suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and stroke, and are promising in areas such as diabetes, epilepsy, cancer care, and mental health. However, it still is not clear what the active ingredients of many successful interventions are. Further research is needed to establish the impact of technology on programme delivery, and to develop programmes tailored for patients with multiple health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103698
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochrane reviews
  • Nursing
  • Patient education
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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