Aims and objectives: To review community programmes promoting self-care or self-management for older people with chronic disease in Thailand. Background: Identifying successful elements of culturally appropriate and effective community-based interventions to promote self-care with chronic illness is increasingly important. Design: Integrative review. Data sources: CINAHL, Medline, Health Source Nursing Academic databases. Methods: Integrative review of peer-reviewed articles written between 1946-2012. Articles were included if they described self-care, self-management, chronic disease and community care interventions targeting older people in Thailand. Results: Of the 58 articles retrieved, only 13 articles met the eligibility criteria. Elements of effective interventions included: (1) providing culturally sensitive information, (2) including approaches of shared decision-making and mutual goal setting and (3) flexibility within the intervention to adapt to participant needs. Conclusions: Shared decision-making and mutual goal setting between interventionists and patients improved health behaviours and outcomes. Moreover, the flexibility to adopt the intervention to local characteristics demonstrated positive results. Relevance to clinical practice: Promoting effective self-care and self-management behaviours is critical to improving outcomes for chronic conditions. The tailoring and targeting of interventions appropriate to individuals and communities are likely to be most effective in leveraging behaviour change. This review has identified that mutual goal setting improved health behaviours. The flexibility to adopt self-care interventions to community-based settings showed improved patient outcomes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.