2. Identify and select common and specific patients’/general population self-care behaviours
Identify and select common and specific patients’/general population self-care behaviours
2.1. Specify and describe the patients/general population that you want to address with the self-care strategy
Depending on the results of the evaluation of the context and key issues and whether the strategy is general or specific to a minor condition, one should define the patients/general population that the interventions should be addressed to.
In doing so, consider:
- Characteristics of the general population
- People affected by the condition(s) the intervention is targeting
- Demographic (including age and gender) and socio-economic characteristics
- Possible co-morbidities
- Health literacy, language, cultural traits
Depending on your target population the self-care strategy might face different barriers.
2.2. Identify the general and specific patients’/general population self-care behaviours that the intervention aims to promote
A key step if you want to establish a strategy to promote self-care is to determine the main self-care behaviours to promote. Establishing those behaviours will guide the development of the strategy and it will help identifying the mechanisms that can hinder or facilitate the promotion of self-care.
Depending on the results of the analysis of your context and issues that you want to address you can identify different behaviours to promote.
The following list presents the main types of self-care behaviour (you can see examples of the specific self-care behaviours in the examples of the guidelines for cold, athlete’s foot, heartburn, urinary tract infection and cough):
- Preventing disease and leading a healthy life
- Awareness about self-limited conditions
- Recognising symptoms
- Evaluating symptoms
- Selecting the appropiate healthcare provider and visiting them in a timely manner when needed
- Making a decision about the treatment (and turning to the relevant healthcare professional when needed)
- Implementing treatment (including adhering to medication)
- Carrying out secondary prevention
- Evaluating treatment (and avoiding risks)
- Sustaining long-lasting self-care behaviours