NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Lorig Presents on Self-Management of Chronic Diseases

Dr. Patricia Grady and Dr. Kate Lorig
Dr. Patricia Grady (l) and Dr. Kate Lorig

Photo:  Nathan Brown

Dr. Kate Lorig recently presented the second NINR Director’s Lecture of 2017. In her talk, “Chronic Disease Self-Management—Evidence, Instruments, Translation and Beyond,” she discussed the effectiveness of low-cost self-management interventions for reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. She also explored the role of self-efficacy, one’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task, as a predictor and moderator of health outcomes.

In describing self-management, and its importance for patients, Lorig notes, “We should care because people with chronic conditions live 99 percent of the time outside of the health care system and what they do in that time largely determines their quality of life, their health and their utilization of the system.”

During her decades of study, Lorig has posited that confidence means self-efficacy. In that light, she and colleagues have repeatedly found that both baseline self-efficacy and changes in self-efficacy predicted outcomes in their self-management programs. 

Another important aspect of her work was translating programs from English to Spanish and studying the effects in a new study population. Interestingly, their analyses repeatedly found that native Spanish-speaking subjects had better self-rated health and less health distress. 

In introductory remarks, NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady highlighted Lorig’s distinctiveness, “in that she not only tests these programs, but she goes on to disseminate her findings, which have been incorporated into policies by patient advocacy organizations and on a national scale.”

Lorig is professor emerita at Stanford School of Medicine. Her research has been supported by NINR as well as other NIH institutes, government agencies and foundations. Interventions developed from her work are used in more than 30 countries and have been accessed by over a million people.

The video of Lorig’s lecture is now available on NINR’s YouTube channel at

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