Exploring self care in Tehran, Iran: A population based study

Hassan Eftekhar, Seyyed Kamaladdin Mirkamali, Sedigheh Sadat Tavafian, Kazem Mohammad, Hossein Shahnazi, Gholamreza Sharifirad


  • Background: self care empowers individuals to self manage their minor ailments, chronic conditions, and to exert more control over their lives. Self care includes activities such as influencing prevention, health maintenance, and treatment of illness by individuals, this study was conducted to assess views about self care among the general population living in south of Tehran. 
  • Materials and Methods: This survey was cross-sectional study by using of two-stage random cluster sampling, 1200 individuals aged 17 years and over was surveyed regarding self care. A structured closed validated questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were finally analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis, Pearson Chi-square, Fisher exact test and linear by linear association. Questionnaire has totally five parts including knowledge, attitude, performance toward self care, views regarding general health and demographic characteristics as well. Furthermore; project number is 4276-62-02-85.
  • Results: The mean age of subjects was 27.9 years (SD = 5.2); 50.2% (n = 603) were female; 54% (n = 643) were married (deleted), (55%, n = 658) reported that they were not knowledgeable about self care and (82%, n = 986) were interested in self care. Only 4% (n = 53) of subjects indicated they drank ≥7 glasses of water daily; fewer reported they consumed at least five portions of fruits/vegetables daily (3%, n = 31; and (4%, n = 51) engaged in physical activity more than 3 h weekly. There were statistically significant relationships between knowledge and interest (P < 0.01), knowledge and practice (P < 0.001), and interest and practice regarding self care (P < 0.001).
  • Conclusion: The vast majority of subjects approximately two third felt satisfied with their health, most of subjects reported “feeling healthy” despite engaging in unhealthy life styles, it is revealed that more educated people, and likely those with more income, were interested in and knowledgeable regarding self care and were actually active in healthy life styles. In brief; this study suggests that physicians could support self care through their consultations with patients.
  • Key words: Iran, population based study, self care practice

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