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Title: Identifying the theoretical components and technical characteristics of a prototype intervention to support and promote self-care for cold and flu symptoms
Author: Andreou, Panayiota
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 6130
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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The primary aim of this thesis was to present the development of the prototype of a theory-based web intervention aiming to support decision-making of the general adult population on whether to seek professional help or self-care for acute respiratory tract infections. The thesis comprised of a systematic review, two qualitative studies, one survey, and a step-by-step development of the intervention. All the empirical studies aimed to identify the theoretical and technical components that could improve the intervention. The systematic review of 18 trials aimed to identify the effectiveness of health educational materials in improving health outcomes for minor ailments such as physical health and health service use. There was mixed evidence regarding the factors that influence primary care consultations; providing educational information outside consultation appeared to be most effective. The piloting of the intervention elicited feedback, via 21 interviews, regarding the content of the intervention e.g. reducing the length of the information, making screening questions clearer, and clarifying when they need to seek professional help. Comments about the format included improving the navigation and aesthetics of the materials by adding more pictures and colour as well as reducing the use of jargon language. The second qualitative study aimed to elicit the underlying reasons to consult a clinician. Findings indicated that consultation was linked to uncertainty about the symptoms, severity and the impact on everyday activities, and past antibiotic prescribing. The theories closely identifying with the arising constructs were Social Cognitive theory, the Common Sense of Illness Representations, and the Beliefs about Medication. The last study of thesis, a survey of 323 participants, showed that the most significant factors linked to the decision not to seek professional help were strong beliefs that symptoms can resolve on their own and seeking help from the pharmacist prior seeing the GP. The findings from the empirical studies contributed further into the development of the intervention as a new resource to help individuals decide whether to seek professional help or self-care for their symptoms. Further work for the online version of the intervention, including tailoring of theoretical factors and including more representative sample, can enhance its validity and effectiveness.
Supervisor: Little, Paul ; Yardley, Lucy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available