Preference Elicitation and Assessment of Technologies
Project No: B2.13 Projects in progress
Project Title: How do people choose between self-care, supported self-care and GP
consultation in minor illness?
Grant Applicants / Porteous, T., Bond, C. (Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of
Principal Investigators Aberdeen), Ryan, M. (HERU), and Francis, J. (HSRU, University of
(place of work): Aberdeen)
HERU Investigators: Ryan, M.
HERU Research Theme: Preference Elicitation
Source of Funding and MRC/ESRC Post Doctoral Fellowship, £121,809
Amount of HERU University of Aberdeen
Objectives: To assess how people choose between self-care, supported self-care and
GP consultation in minor illness?
Outline: Increasing demand for health services in the UK means that traditional
methods of supplying health care may no longer be appropriate.
Government policies place increasing emphasis on self-care by
individuals. It is, therefore, important to understand how people choose
between self-care and consulting a health professional. Dr Porteous’ PhD
investigated decision-making in the management of minor illness, using a
mixed-methods approach. A discrete choice experiment was employed
alongside interviews and a survey. Results suggested that whilst most
people liked to use self-care to manage symptoms of minor illness
associated with analgesic use, the relationship between self-care behaviour
and factors influencing it is complex. Further, interventions that aim to
improve self-care should focus on providing flexible support for those
who need it. As part of the Fellowship the generalisability of the DCE
results, applied initially to flu-like symptoms, will be investigated with
respect to other clinical conditions. Symptoms often severe but self-
limiting in nature (such as back pain) and potentially serious conditions
(e.g. rectal bleeding) will be used.
Outcome & Translation: The research will identify patterns or differences in peoples’ preferences
for symptom management. Understanding how preferences, and thus
behaviour, might vary across different groups will be important when
developing new services to support self-care and complement traditional
services like GP consultations.
Start Date: October 2008
Duration of Project: 3 years
Other Dissemination -