The effect of a self-care intervention on health related attitudes and beliefs
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Type of Work131 pages
Self-care has always been a primary means of caring for health problems. It has been estimated that 80% of all health care is provided by the individual or family and most people experience a self-care decision on one out of every three days (Morrell, 1976). Reactive self-care or correct actions taken by lay people in response to symptoms is a current educational intervention in many workplace health promotion programs. The emphasis of these programs is increased health care knowledge and decision making by the individual and appropriate utilization of the health care system. Key components of many self-care programs are self-care handbooks which contain specific self-care recommendations for home treatment of common medical problems. Additionally, the handbooks also contain information about health care consumerism, developing an active partnership with your health professional, and what clinical interventions to expect when you do enter the medical system for a specific problem.It appears however that individual personality factors such as attitudes and beliefs may influence whether or not self-care behaviors are practiced (Krantz, 1980). There have been relatively few studies which have assessed the ability of a self-care program (with or without a handbook) to impact health related attitudes and beliefs. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a structured self-care program which included a self-care handbook on health related attitudes and beliefs in a group of electric utility employees with comparisons to a group of employees who received no intervention. An experimental design was utilized for this study with a convenience sample of 70 employees. Subjects were randomly assigned to control and treatment groups of 35 members each. Data were collected pre- and post-intervention on health related beliefs and health related attitudes. Additional information collected included age and gender for both groups and post intervention book utilization in the treatment group. An analysis of the data revealed overall that a structured self-care intervention which included a self-care handbook could significantly affect some health related attitudes and beliefs. The specific scales that revealed significant change were powerful others and information. Furthermore, these changes did last intervention. It was discovered that treatment group members who had read more of their book were less likely to believe their health status was due to chance events. Younger participants in both groups did indicate a higher desire to obtain health related information. These results support the ability of a self-care program to improve attitudes and beliefs in regard to personal responsibility and active participation in health care.