Trying to decide if a patient is a good candidate for self-care isn't an exact science, but there are certain signs that will tell a doctor if someone might be more successful than someone else.
For example, he'll assess how bad the pain is and how it affects your life. People with severe pain that keeps them from doing things, will likely have a lower chance of self-management. Are you depressed or does the pain make you very anxious? If you answer yes to either of those questions, it might be harder for you to take control. Of course, if the depression or the anxiety is addressed, you could increase your chances of being successful.
Do you feel in charge of your life in other aspects, not just in pain? If you're a take-charge kind of person, again, you probably have a better chance of succeeding than someone who often allows others to make decisions or who believes that things just happen, good or bad.
Are you willing to try new things, to experiment with different treatments or programs? If you are, then you might be the right person for self-management.