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The objective of this research was to study the elderly self – care patterns and factors both in normal and illness conditions including behavior patterns, determine factors, similarities. Differences between the studied villages. Selection of the studied villages was conducted by purposively sampling of 2 villages in Kosumpisai district of Mahasarakam province which were Yang Noi village, 165 households, and Nong Sim village, 152 households. Data collection was performed in 1992 by using the participant observation method, key informant interview, and in - depth interview.
Results indicated that the elderly self – care patterns in illness conditions of 2 villages were similar. The symptomatic treatment and care of those illnesses based on self diagnosis were self provided. They would ignore the care if the symptoms were assessed to be neglectible. If the symptoms persisted, they would buy some medicine from drug stores without prescription. If not recovered, they would go to the village health office. Hopital or private clinic. It was also found that the self – care behavior patterns of the elderly with normal condition in Yang Noi village had more knowledge of health practices and food consumption for a better physical fitness than those in Nong Sim village. The factors determining the self – care patterns both in normal and illness condition of the elderly from the two villages included the learning experiences, belief, value and influences of modrn medicine. Results also indicated that factors resulted in a better self – care behavior of the elderly in Nong Sim village other than Yang Noi were the shorter distance to urban community and the level of village developments.
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