Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine whether self-care behaviour increases after a self-care stimulating intervention that proved to be successful in reducing care-seeking behaviour for minor illnesses of Turkish and Dutch inhabitants of a deprived area in the Netherlands, and to see whether there are cultural differences. Method: This longitudinal study was based on a "pre-test/post-test one group" design. Data were collected during three structured face-to-face interviews: before the intervention, and 6 months and 1 year after the intervention, in which GPs personally handed out booklets to their patients containing guidelines on the management of 12 minor illnesses. Results: The number of self-reported self-care actions did not increase. In contrast to the Dutch, the Turkish participants reported a decrease in the number of self-care actions, their attitude towards self-care became more negative, and they perceived less control. Conclusion: Apparently, a reduction in formal health care utilisation is not engendered by an increase in self-care behaviour. In order to make sure that interventions like these will have the intended effect, more research is needed, particularly among non-western populations. Practice implications: In developing future healthcare-reducing interventions, one should be aware of possible unwanted side effects in non-western populations.