What matters to me?

Learning outcomes

To engage your patient/client in a meaningful discussion and to introduce the concept of self-management, the “what matters to you” question can be a good starting point. It allows the person to think about the important things in their life and helps you can understand what these are and how to support them to achieve their life goals.

The “what matters to you?” question can be phrased in a number of ways:

What matters to me?

  • What things are important to you at the moment?
  • What are some of the things you would like to achieve with support?
  • When you have a good day, what are the things which make it good?
  • What are your priorities for today, this week, this year?

At times your patient/client may have difficulties in their life. They will also have their own priorities, not all of these will be health related, but whatever it is could be an obstacle to self-managing their illness. Sometimes the most important person to support them will be you, sometimes it will be family, friends or community depending on what is their priority at that time. Finding out the answers to the “what matters to me” question can help you to work with your patient/client or to signpost to others who could help.

Additional information
Information icon