An exploration of the attitudes and perceptions of the UK public towards self-care for minor ailments

Scott, A ORCID: and Jones, C 2020, 'An exploration of the attitudes and perceptions of the UK public towards self-care for minor ailments' , British Journal of Nursing, 29 (1) , pp. 44-49.

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Aims and objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the attitudes and perceptions of members of the UK public towards self-care for minor ailments.
Background: With an ageing and increasing population, and a National Health Service in extremis with plummeting performance indicators and the huge disparity between available funding and costs of treatments, methods to reduce demand upon health services are key. Increasing the use of self-care for minor ailments is one way in which this pressure could be alleviated.
Design + Method: This study utilised qualitative methods including semi-structured telephone interviews. This data was then valuated, and key themes are drawn out of the data using thematic analysis.
Findings: The results showed that the public are aware of the notion of self-care, and some are engaging with it. However, for a number of reasons, patients are still likely to want a face to face appointment despite the use of internet and telephone advice services.
Conclusion: The study highlighted that there are multifactorial aspects impacting upon a patient’s likelihood to engage in self-care when faced with a minor illness. The results are not generalisable to every member of the UK public, but interesting questions are raised with regards to the usefulness of current public health messages being portrayed across various media when there appears to be a lack of desire from the public to use some recommended services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in British Journal of Nursing, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Nursing
Publisher: Mark Allen Publishing
ISSN: 0966-0461
Related URLs:
Depositing User: AJS Scott
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 11:23
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 03:54

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