The notion of self care is gaining growing acceptance in health systems across Europe. Yet little is known about how the public perceives self care. The Self Care Barometer, the first of its kind, will provide a benchmark for future surveys, allowing us to track trends citizens’ attitudes and appetite for self care. The research will be conducted every two years.
TNS Global carried out the fieldwork on behalf of Epposi, with ten countries participating: Denmark, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Finland, France, Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia and Poland.
The Self Care Barometer shows that there is a public appetite for self care. However, new policies are needed to support citizens’ use of self care, including increasing health literacy and improving access to information and expertise.
Future editions of the Epposi Self Care Barometer will track the changes in public perceptions of self care.
Self Care - A hot topic
This research comes at a time when self care is a hot topic for policymakers in Europe. The European Commission’s DG Enterprise and DG Sanco are preparing a paper on self care, due to be published by the end of 2013. The Commission has also been working with stakeholders to promote the uptake and informed used of non-prescription medicines.
European healthcare is faced with serious challenges. The number of people with chronic conditions is rising and the population is ageing. Yet there are too few health professionals and public spending is under pressure. Finding a more sustainable way to meet the health needs of citizens is essential.
Self care can help to unlock the benefits of disease prevention, early intervention and self-management. It also taps in to a growing appetite for taking personal responsibility for personal health and well-being. With the right support, self care can maintain citizens’ quality of life while making the best use of scare resources.