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J R Coll Gen Pract. 1976 Jun;26(167):398-403.

Symptoms perceived and recorded by patients.


Health diaries were kept by 198 randomly-chosen women between the ages of 20 and 44. Symptoms were recorded on one day in three and on 57 per cent of symptom-days self-medication occurred. Even a minor shift from self-care to doctor care could make intolerable demands on the general-practitioner service in this country.Only a minority of symptoms (one in 37) are taken to the doctor and patients are highly selective in deciding which symptoms are appropriate for medical care. The perception of symptoms and the response of seeking medical advice are both significantly related to anxiety as measured by a personality questionnaire.

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