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Can Fam Physician. 1999 Nov;45:2644-6, 2649-52.

Common colds. Reported patterns of self-care and health care use.

Author information

1
Population and Community Health Unit, University of Western Ontario in London. evingili@julian.uwo.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the self-reported prevalence and patterns of self-care and health care use for colds and flu.

DESIGN:

Using the expert panel method, a questionnaire was developed to explore self-care practices, attitudes, pharmaceutical use, and health care use for a range of cold and flu symptoms.

SETTING:

London and Windsor, Ont.

PARTICIPANTS:

Using a random-digit-dialing survey method, 210 residents were interviewed between November and December 1993. Of 1484 telephone numbers called, 1179 calls were ineligible. Two hundred ten questionnaires were completed for 305 eligible respondents.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Demographic data, typical self-care practices, actual practice during respondents' last cold, opinions on appropriate practices, and knowledge of how to treat colds.

RESULTS:

Self-care was respondents' treatment of choice, and most respondents use over-the-counter drugs. Prescription drug use was low. Only 1% reported seeing a physician for their last cold. As the number of symptoms increased, however, reported use of over-the-counter drugs and calls or visits to doctors increased.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results are congruent with other studies showing that the health care practices of most respondents are consistent with low use of the health care system and high levels of self-care for colds and flu.

PMID:
10587772
PMCID:
PMC2328659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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