Although self-care is emerging as a growing movement wherein lay persons are assuming more responsibility for prevention, detection and treatment of health problems, we have almost no basic descriptive studies of attitudes toward self-care of professionals and consumers. The present study explored the reliability and validity of an attitude instrument designed to assess consumers' attitudes toward self-care and also its sensitivity to group differences in attitudes. A scale constructed for use with a provider population was revised and administered by telephone interview to 245 families in central California. Attitudes were found to be favorable. The scale's internal consistency reliability was calculated and found to be. 65 (Cronbach's alpha); mean attitudes of three treatment groups were found to differ significantly. In view of the scale's moderate reliability, it is suggested that the scale be revised to provide a more sensitive discrimination of favorable attitudes.
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