Motivation - The development of self-management systems has been mainly initiated and driven by health-care professionals, resulting in a primarily medical view on the role of these systems in health care for chronically ill patients. However, lay people consider their health rather in terms of 'participation' and 'feeling healthy'. Therefore, different views regarding the role of self-management systems in health care for chronically ill patients are to be expected. Research approach - A focus group was conducted with eight patients with a chronic kidney disease. The role of selfmanagement systems in their daily care was discussed, guided by a scenario that was based on a framework covering functionalities in such systems from a medical point of view. Findings/Design - The results show that opinions and expectancies about the role of self-management systems can vary greatly between patients. Furthermore, patients' expectancies do not necessarily correspond with the role of self-management systems from a medical perspective. Take away message - Expectations about the role of selfmanagement systems should be addressed during all design stages. Self-management systems should be tailored to suit different types of users, for instance by incorporating evidence from the field of human factors. Copyright 2012 ACM.