What are the dimensions of self-management? The self-management of well-being (SMW) theory developed by Nardi Steverink, based on the theory of social production functions (SPF) incorporates six core abilities to form the composite construct of self-management: (1) take initiatives (be instrumental or self-motivating in realizing aspects of well-being); (2) invest in resources for long-term benefits; (3) maintain variety in resources (achieve and maintain various resources for each dimension of well-being); (4) ensure resource multifunctionality (gain and maintain resources or activities that serve multiple dimensions of well-being simultaneously and in a mutually reinforcing way); (5) self-efficaciously manage resources (gain and maintain a belief in personal competence to achieve well-being); and (6) maintain a positive frame of mind. Each of these abilities must be related explicitly to the dimensions of well-being specified in the SPF theory: physical well-being (comfort and stimulation) and social well-being (affection, behavioural confirmation, and status).

Average self-management ability scores ranged from 1 to 6, with higher scores indicating higher self-management abilities. Cronbach’s alpha values of the SMAS-S in many populations have proven good reliability. Furthermore, we found that the psychometric properties of the SMAS-S are good and the subscales of SMAS-S clearly represent separate concepts. The SMAS-S is a promising alternate instrument to evaluate self-management abilities. Having a shorter instrument (instead of the 30-item SMAS) makes it more feasible to assess SMA in a broader number of people, especially among frail older populations.

English version:

  • Taking initiative

SMAS_S_1. How often do you take the initiative to keep yourself busy?

SMAS_S_2. How often do you take the initiative to get in touch with people who are dear to you?

SMAS_S_3. How often do you make an effort to have friendly contacts with other people?

  • Investment behaviour

SMAS_S_4. Do you ensure that you have enough interests on a regular basis (such as a hobby) to keep you active?

SMAS_S_5. Do you devote some time and attention to those who are dear to you in order to maintain good contact?

SMAS_S_6. Do you keep busy with the things you are good at so that you stay good at them?

  • Variety

SMAS_S_7. How many hobbies or activities do you have on a regular basis?

SMAS_S_8. Do you have different occasions on which you have friendly contacts with others?

SMAS_S_9. Are there certain things that you are good at?

  • Multifunctionality

SMAS_S_10. The activities I enjoy, I do together with others.

SMAS_S_11. I sometimes help the people I care about.

SMAS_S_12. Others benefit from the things I do for my pleasure.

  • Self-efficacy

SMAS_S_13. Are you able to find agreeable activities?

SMAS_S_14. Are you able to have friendly contacts with others?

SMAS_S_15. Are you able to let others know that you care about them?

  • Positive frame of mind

SMAS_S_16. When things go against you, how often do you think that it could always be worse?

SMAS_S_17. When you have a bad day, how often do you think that things will be better tomorrow?

SMAS_S_18. When things are not going so well, how often do you succeed in thinking positively?

Dutch version:

  • Initiatief nemen

SMAS_S_1. Hoe vaak neemt u het initiatief om actief met iets bezig te zijn?

SMAS_S_2. Hoe vaak neemt u het initiatief tot contact met de mensen waar u veel om geeft?

SMAS_S_3. Hoe vaak neemt u het initiatief om leuke contacten met anderen te hebben?

  • Investeringsgedrag

SMAS_S_4. Zorgt u voor voldoende vaste bezigheden zoals een hobby zodat u actief bezig blijft?

SMAS_S_5. Besteedt u tijd en aandacht aan het onderhouden van een goed contact met de mensen waar u veel om geeft?

SMAS_S_6. Blijft u bezig met de dingen waar u goed in bent, zodat u er ook (heel) goed in blijft?

  • Variëteit

SMAS_S_7. Hoeveel hobby’s of vaste bezigheden heeft u?

SMAS_S_8. Bij hoeveel gelegenheden heeft u leuke contacten met anderen, bijvoorbeeld tijdens het winkelen of bij een vereniging?

SMAS_S_9. Zijn er dingen waar u goed in bent?

  • Multifunctionaliteit

SMAS_S_10. De bezigheden waar ik plezier aan beleef, doe ik samen met anderen

SMAS_S_11. Ik help de mensen om wie ik veel geef wel eens ergens mee

SMAS_S_12. Anderen hebben baat bij de dingen die ik doe voor mijn plezier

  • Self-efficacy

SMAS_S_13. Lukt het u om plezierige bezigheden te vinden?

SMAS_S_14. Lukt het u om leuke contacten te hebben met anderen?

SMAS_S_15. Lukt het u om anderen te laten merken dat u om hen geeft?

  • Positief toekomst perspectief

SMAS_S_16. Hoe vaak, als iets u tegenzit, bedenkt u dat het altijd nog erger kan?

SMAS_S_17. Hoe vaak, wanneer u een slechte dag heeft, bedenkt u zich dat het morgen wel weer beter zal gaan?

SMAS_S_18. Hoe vaak, als het even iets minder gaat, lukt het u om positief te blijven denken?


  • COMPUTE SMAS_S = mean.12 (SMAS_S_1, SMAS_S_2, SMAS_S_3, SMAS_S_4, SMAS_S_5, SMAS_S_6, SMAS_S_7, SMAS_S_8, SMAS_S_9, SMAS_S_10, SMAS_S_11, SMAS_S_12, SMAS_S_13, SMAS_S_14, SMAS_S_15, SMAS_S_16, SMAS_S_17, SMAS_S_18).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_taking_initiative = mean.2 (MAS_S_1, SMAS_S_2, SMAS_S_3).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_investment_behavior = mean.2 (SMAS_S_4, SMAS_S_5, SMAS_S_6).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_variety = mean.2 (SMAS_S_7, SMAS_S_8, SMAS_S_9).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_multifunctionality = mean.2 (SMAS_S_10, SMAS_S_11, SMAS_S_12).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_self-efficacy = mean.2 (SMAS_S_13, SMAS_S_14, SMAS_S_15).
  • COMPUTE SMAS_S_positive_frame = mean.2 (SMAS_S_16, SMAS_S_17, SMAS_S_18).


Cramm, J.M., Strating, M.M.H., Vreede, P.L. de, Steverink, N., Nieboer, A.P. (2012). Validation of the self-management ability scale (SMAS) and development and validation of a shorter scale (SMAS-S) among older patients shortly after hospitalisation. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 10:9.

Cramm, J.M., Nieboer, A.P. (2015). Disease Management: The Need for a Focus on Broader Self-Management Abilities and Quality of Life. Population Health Management. doi:10.1089/pop.2014.0120.

Cramm, J.M. & Nieboer, A.P. (2014). The effects of social and physical functioning and self-management abilities on well-being among patients with cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9 (1), 113. doi: 10.1007/s11482-013-9216-z.

Cramm, J.M., Twisk, J & Nieboer, A.P. (2014). Self-management abilities and frailty are important for healthy aging among community-dwelling older people; a cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatrics, 14:28. doi:

Cramm, J.M., Hartgerink, J.M., Steyerberg, E.W., Bakker, T.J., Mackenbach, J.P. & Nieboer, A.P. (2013). Understanding older patients' self-management abilities: functional loss, self-management, and well-being. Quality of Life Research, 22, 85-92. doi:

Cramm, J.M. & Nieboer, A.P. (2013). The relationship between self-management abilities, quality of chronic care delivery, and wellbeing among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in The Netherlands. International Journal of COPD, 8, 209-214. doi:

Cramm, J.M. & Nieboer, A.P. (2012). Self-management abilities, physical health and depressive symptoms among patients with cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Patient Education and Counseling, 87, 411-415. doi:

Cramm, J.M., Hartgerink, J.M., Vreede, P.L. de, Bakker, T.J., Steyerberg, E.W., Mackenbach, J.P. & Nieboer, A.P. (2012). The relationship between older adults' self-management abilities, well-being and depression. European Journal of Ageing, 9, 353-360. doi: For more information and publications on the SMAS also visit the website of Nardi Steverink: