In part 1 of this series I reviewed the factors which influence a consumer in making judgments about minor illness, including whether to consult or practice self care in some form. Willingness to engage in self care depends in part on the individual’s circumstances and past experience.
In this part of the review I consider what options are open to individuals wanting to practice some form of self care for minor illness. The factors which influence consumer behavior in choosing the course of action to pursue are reviewed, as are the drivers for what happens next, including subsequent consultation with a health care professional.
When the choices involve the potential use of an OTC medicine, other factors come into play and govern the appropriate selection of a product, and appropriate use once purchased. Despite the difficulties inherent in making such choices, many consumers become confident in self medication particularly when managing recurrent episodes with familiar medicines. Many reports indicate generally reassuring patterns of usage of OTC medicines, including what consumers would do should the medicine not work as intended. However others indicate a worrying lack of knowledge about OTC ingredients and the potential for misuse amongst a proportion of users; there may be little room for complacency.
The support offered to individuals through medication labels and the perceptions of those individuals in relation to OTC medicines will be considered in the next paper in this series.
To view the full version of this paper you need to purchase a single download pdf.
If you have been granted access to paid content on Selfcare, please login