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© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Background and aims: Liver cirrhosis severely decreases patients' quality of life. Since self-management programmes have improved quality of life and reduce hospital admissions in other chronic diseases, they have been suggested to decrease liver cirrhosis burden. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the clinical impact of self-management programmes in patients with liver cirrhosis, which followed the Preferred Reporting for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Primary outcomes include health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and hospitalisation. We searched MEDLINE, CENTRAL, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO and two trial registers to July 2017. Results: We identified four randomised trials (299 patients) all rated at a high risk of bias. No difference was demonstrated for HRQOL (standardised mean difference −0.01, 95% CI: −0.48 to 0.46) and hospitalisation days (incidence rate ratio 1.6, 95% CI: 0.5–4.8). For secondary outcomes, one study found a statistically significant improvement in patient knowledge (mean difference (MD) 3.68, 95% CI: 2.11–5.25) while another study found an increase in model for end-stage liver disease scores (MD 2.8, 95% CI: 0.6–4.9) in the self-management group. No statistical difference was found for the other secondary outcomes (self-efficacy, psychological health outcomes, healthcare utilisation, mortality). Overall, the quality of the evidence was low. The content of self-management programmes varied across studies with little overlap. Conclusions: The current literature indicates that there is no evidence of a benefit of self-management programmes for people with cirrhosis. Relevance to clinical practice: Practitioners should use self-management programmes with caution when delivering care to patients living with cirrhosis. Further research is required to determine what are the key features in a complex intervention like self-management. This review offers a preliminary framework for clinicians to develop a new self-management programme with key features of effective self-management interventions from established models.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Clinical Nursing

Publication Date





3625 - 3637