Research was conducted to apply Orem's theoretical constructs of self-care to the problem of self-medication behaviors among black, elderly, hypertensive patients. Orem's propositions laid the foundation for this study evaluating the effectiveness of a self-care medication program on knowledge of medication, health locus of control, and self-care medication behaviors. Data supported the conclusion that the experimental program initially improved knowledge of medication, perceived control over health, and self-care behaviors. Follow-up analysis revealed a diminutive effect on these variables. Explanations for these conclusions were then applied to Orem's theoretical constructs of self-care.