Home » Self-Care Promotion » Guideline on how to promote self-care: Urinary tract infection (UTI) » 3. Evaluate the mechanisms that hinder or facilitate the promotion of self-care

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

Evaluate the mechanisms that might hinder or facilitate the promotion of self-care in your context (barriers and facilitators)

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

One of the most important steps in promoting self-care is the identification and analysis of the mechanism that might hinder the promotion of self-care. Those can be present hindering the implementation of the self-care strategy, but also as facilitating the implementation.

When designing a self-care strategy one should identify and evaluate those mechanisms. To facilitate this step we propose a list of mechanisms that might affect the development of a self-care strategy. This list is not exhaustive but might be helpful to guide a systematic evaluation of hindering/facilitating mechanisms.

Note: When developing this step in a specific context, it could be very useful to involve all those stakeholders that have been identified to include their multiple perspectives, which can increase the chances of detecting the most relevant hindering/facilitating mechanisms and, ultimately, improve the chances of success of the promotion of self-care guideline.

  • Low health literacy: low levels of health literacy can make it harder for patients/persons to engage in self-behaviours. It has been reported that about 12% of the European population have inappropriate general health literacy, and more than one third (35%) has problematic health literacy. Health literacy can be one of the key determinants to address as it has been proven to be associated with health outcomes, health service use and quality of health systems as well as capacity building for professionals.
  • The poor information can negatively affect self-care at any stage, for example: incorrect assessment of seriousness, delayed recognition of symptoms, biased expectations on the condition prognosis.
  • Application of preventive measures. Following the recommendations on general healthy life styles and specifically aimed at preventing UTI. Poor skills of prevention can be one of the key hindering mechanisms particularly for the reduction of incidence.
  • Often not enough importance is given to the influence of certain hygiene practices.
Health status
  • Presence of pregnancy and urinary tract malformations.
  • Diabetes.
Demographic characteristics
  • Young and non-pregnant women are the population group with the highest incidence of UTI.
Socio-economic status (and or minority groups)
  • Institutionalization especially for women.
  • Lack of planning for managing patient education.
  • Lack of communication skills and education on healthy lifestyles.
Social factors
Organizational factors
  • Availability (or not) of educational materials to disseminate healthy lifestyle, adequate treatment or linguistic educational level of the population.
  • High number of patients in consultations does not allow to spend time explaining the self-care.
  • Lack of planning, space and/or means for patient education.
Economic factors
  • Countries where access to healthcare is not universal or there is no copayment for prescriptions.

As the review of potentially hindering or facilitating mechanisms reflects, there are three potentially key areas of hindering or facilitating mechanisms to consider: