‘The care that you give to yourself’: a qualitative study exploring patients' perceptions of self-care

Hughes, John G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4513-2395, Sharma, Raj, Brough, Nicola, Majumdar, Anne and Fisher, Peter (2020) ‘The care that you give to yourself’: a qualitative study exploring patients' perceptions of self-care. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 40. p. 101246. ISSN 1876-3820

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Abstract

Introduction
Self-care incorporates a range of activities undertaken by patients including health protection and maintenance, treatment of minor ailments and the self-management of chronic conditions.. The present study aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of self-care, including factors which might promote, or hinder, patients' engagement with self-care strategies.

Methods
A qualitative approach was adopted. A sample of 20 patients with chronic conditions participated in the study. Seventeen interviews and one focus group were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analysed thematically using Framework methodology.

Results
Participants identified five dimensions to the concept of self-care (1) taking responsibility for one's health and lifestyle choices, (2) reflecting on own needs, (3) being an expert of oneself, (4) doing things for oneself (self-agency), and (5) adopting lifestyle activities to support health and wellbeing. Participants identified a number of factors which had facilitated the initiation of their self-care activities. These included having accurate advice/information to inform decision making; having encouragement from treating healthcare professionals; having the right attitude and outlook; and having the motivation to initiate self-care. Factors which could hinder the initiation of self-care included symptoms of their chronic condition, and socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors.

Conclusions
Patients appear to have a complex and multifaceted understanding of self-care. The identified factors which facilitated or hindered participants in adopting self-care activities have important implications for the provision of self-care advice by treating health care workers, and the delivery of self-care services more widely.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John G. Hughes
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 19:35
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 08:33
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8506

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