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Self-care/self-help strategies for persons with Ménière’s disease: a systematic review

Authors Long A, Brettle A

Received 20 June 2015

Accepted for publication 9 September 2015

Published 19 November 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 33—51


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Andrew F Long,1 Alison Brettle2

1Health Systems Research, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK; 2School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Salford, Salford, UK

Abstract: In recent years, health care practitioners and researchers have become increasingly interested in finding ways to help persons with long-standing health problems cope and live their everyday lives. This article presents the findings of the first systematic review of empirical research on the self-care strategies that persons with one such condition, Ménière’s disease (MD), find helpful. It aims to provide evidence-informed guidance to persons with MD on self-help/self-care approaches they might pursue. Searches were undertaken on three databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO), locating 239 potentially relevant references relating to MD or symptoms associated with the condition. Following a screening and critical appraisal process undertaken by the authors, eight papers were included in the review and were judged to be of high or good quality. The papers were synthesized in a narrative form, with individual papers summarized in evidence tables. No single self-help/self-care strategy or coping mechanism was evident. The review found evidence of the potential of a diverse range of helpful self-care approaches, including a cognitive behavioral therapy–self-help intervention, changes in lifestyle, developing and adopting positive approaches and/or avoidance of precipitating factors, and complementary and alternative medicine. The key message, for persons with MD and their caring health practitioners, is to become aware of the multiplicity of potential strategies and to try with support from others to "find what works, why and how" for themselves in their own psycho-socio-cultural lifeworld. More research is needed to examine people’s search for self-care strategies and obtain insight into how and why these work for them, drawing on notions of pragmatic acculturation, health literacy, and human/health agency, in addition to further research on the potential of, and who might benefit most from, cognitive behavioral therapy–self-help interventions.

Keywords: self-care, coping strategies, Ménière’s disease, systematic review

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