The use of self-care has increased over the last few decades in the United States. This creates more opportunities for patients to misuse self-care practices, and also amplifies the need for healthcare providers to play active roles in advising patients in appropriate self-care utilization. Healthcare providers, including pharmacists, nurses, and physicians, are key players in recommending and facilitating appropriate self-care behaviors in patients. In these circumstances there are several factors that have to be considered to ensure that the recommendation for self-care, or need for referral, is made appropriately. Several assessment strategies have been documented in the literature to facilitate this process. This paper seeks to identify the need for structured patient assessment methods, particularly in pharmacy practice, as well as to discuss common strategies that have been used in assessing candidates for self-care.
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