Self-care practices of college students

Stephen Joel Coons, William F. McGhan, J. Lyle Bootman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The literature indicates that the majority of symptoms of minor illness or injury experienced by individuals are handled routinely through some form of self-care. Less well described are the sources of information relied on in the selfcare decision-making process. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of self-care measures by college students prior to visiting a student health service and, if self-care was undertaken, to determine the source(s) of self-care information. Results indicated that almost two thirds of the subjects had engaged in self-care for the symptoms that led to their visits. The most popular sources of self-care information included family members or friends, prior interaction with a health care provider, and non prescription medication advertisements. This study did not address the appropriateness of the self-care information obtained; therefore, the quality of the information was not analyzed. Due to the prevalence of self-care among college students, attempts should be made to provide them with objective, high quality, and readily accessible self-care information. This information should be provided as part of an overall effort that encourages students to view health as a personal responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-173
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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