Home » Self-Care Promotion » Guideline on how to promote self-care: Cough » 4. Select and implement self-care promotion interventions

4. Select and implement self-care promotion interventions

Select and implement self-care promotion interventions
  • Linking intervention(s) with the hindering/facilitating mechanisms
  • Selecting intervention(s)
  • Piloting intervention(s)
  • Implementing intervention(s)

4.1. Linking intervention(s) with the hindering/facilitating mechanisms

Once the hindering or facilitating mechanisms have been identified, linking interventions to theses mechanism is a key step.

There are numerous interventions that could potentially contribute to the promotion of self-care in cough for selected target issues (reduce incidence; reduce unnecessary visits to GPs, reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics).

The table showed in point 4.2 highlights types of interventions that could target these issues addressing the detected hindering or facilitating mechanisms, with special attention to three key areas of hindering or facilitating mechanisms highlighted before: the patients’/general population knowledge and skills, organisational factors and specific most vulnerable groups in the general population.

4.2. Selecting intervention (s)

The following tables illustrate types of self-care promotion interventions that could address these mechanisms with the final goal of improving the key issues highlighted.

Suggested interventions by key issues
Incidence and impact
Associated costs
Improper use of antibiotics
Unnecessary use of medication
Key characteristics of the issue
General/specific issue
Level to address the issue
Key focus that the self-care promotion strategy requires or should include
  • Structural interventions
  • Staff-oriented interventions
  • Financial interventions
  • Financial incentives to patients
  • Financial incentives to Primary Care Centers
Patient-focused interventions
  • Skill development
  • Behaviour change
  • Family support
  • Information provision
Professional-focused interventions
  • Educational interventions
  • Educational materials
  • Large-scale educational meetings
  • Small-scale educational meetings
  • Outreach visits
  • Use of opinion leaders
  • Feedbacks and reminders
  • Feedback
  • Reminders
  • Local consensus processes

The following type of interventions could be recommended from this analysis:

It is important to bear in mind that most interventions are multifaceted, so include more than one area; however, to facilitate the analytical line the interventions have been divided in information strategies and organisational strategies.

Information strategies:

  • Information, with a special focus on symptom recognition and evaluation.

One of the identified potentially hindering mechanisms was the lack of knowledge regarding what to expect when someone has cough, to be aware of treatment options and recommendations for symptom relieve. Information strategies can have some beneficial results to tackle this issue.

  • Know who to turn to:

A combination of these two complementary information strategies would help to address two of the most relevant aspects: symptom recognition and information on how to navigate the healthcare system.

Often, the first professional to where patients go is the pharmacist. In these cases the implication of this professional is critical because they are the first point of contact from a healthcare professional.

Improper use of antibiotics
Involvement of pharmacists to educate patients about the use of antibiotics.

Dispensing prescription-only antibiotics
This is a widely extended measure in European countries and a very effective strategy to reduce Antibiotic Self-medication.

Mass media information campaigns
Generating awareness about how to self-care, how to mitigate the effect of the cough in the quality of life (relieving the symptoms) and how to reduce the contagious for viral infections (mainly during winter seasons).

Reduction of GP appointments
Phone consultation to reduce GP workload Easy access to easy self-care programs (from mobile phone or other media) recommended by phone consultant/carrier, although this might leave some groups out, such as elderly and non-income population.

Habits and behaviours for a healthy lifestyle
Messages to the public.
Sessions on healthy lifestyle offered and conducted in health centres.

  • Organisational strategies:

Mass media information campaigns on acute cough as a self-limited process.

Graphic information (posters, brochures, etc.) displayed on main locations and points of contact, especially in pharmacies and care centres.