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Self-Care Promotion

About this guideline



It has been agreed that the guideline should be focused on the following specific objectives:

Specific objectives for the guideline:

  • To describe effective and efficient recommendations on how to promote self-care practices in minor conditions. Those will be addressed to the key stakeholders of the project: Policy-makers at national, regional and local level; Health-care managers; Health and social care professionals (and professional bodies); Industry, self-care medication and medical devices industry; Patients/consumer organizations and other NGOs; Educators & Workplace related stakeholders.
  • To identify good practices and tools to illustrate how to promote self-care behaviours for minor conditions among patients/persons, families, informal caregivers and the general public.

How to use this guideline

This guideline aims to enable its target users to promote self-care in minor conditions; ultimately to enable the readers of this guideline to help people help themselves.The overall guiding principles of this guideline are to help the target users to promote safe self-care through evidence based recommendations.

To do so the guideline is structured in 5 steps as illustrated. Those 5 steps are the steps that a target user of this guideline should consider when designing an initiative to promote self-care in minor conditions.

Each step might include remarks and tips for a specific group of target users. As a complement all the specific remarks and tips are collected on a final page dedicated for each specific target user group (represented with the coloured buttons on the right section of the diagram).

The step-by-step section of the guideline is complemented with a Catalogue of good practices and tools in the promotion of self-care in minor conditions.

Guideline on how to promote self-care in minor conditions

Identify the problem and evaluate your context

  • Define what specific issue(s) you are trying to address
  • Identify whether those issues are related to a specific minor conditions or a general approach to self-care
  • Identify key stakeholders for the development of the self-care strategy
  • Identify self-care promotion resources for the selected conditions in your area

Identify and select common and specific patients’/general population self-care behaviours

  • Specify and describe the population/patients that you want to address with the intervention
  • Identify the general and specific patients’/general population self-care behaviours that the intervention aims to promote

Evaluate the mechanisms that might hinder or facilitate the promotion of self-care

  • Evaluate the possible impact of hindering/facilitating mechanisms including:
    • Patients related factors
    • Professionals related factors
    • Environment related factors

Select and implement self-care promotion interventions

  • Linking intervention(s) with the hindering/facilitating mechanisms
  • Selecting intervention(s)
  • Piloting intervention(s)
  • Implementing intervention(s)

Evaluate the impact of implemented self-care strategies

  • Develop impact indicators
  • Consider qualitative evaluation
  • Evaluate continuously and adapt your strategy in consequence
Check the example of the guideline of self-care promotion applied to the following 5 minor conditions:


Athlete’s foot


Urinary tract infection

Catalogue of practices to promote self-care 

Levels not specifically addressed in this guideline: European Union and related bodies

This guideline is developed within the European context, taking into account European projects, reports and other evidence. However the goal of this guideline does NOT include the proposal of actions for the EU and related bodies. This level of intervention is specifically addressed in WP3 of this same tender (citing the final report when its public).  Both WPs have worked in close coordination to ensure that this guideline and WP3 report are well aligned.