The utility of self-care theory as a theoretical basis for self-neglect

Authors

  • William Lauder PhD MED RMN RCNT RNT DipEd DipN

    1. Associate Head of Department, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Highland Campus, University of Stirling, Inverness, UK
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William Lauder, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Highland Campus, University of Stirling, Old Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3FG, UK. E-mail: william.lauder@stir.ac.uk

Abstract

The utility of self-care theory as a theoretical basis for self-neglect

Aim. This paper sets out to explore the utility of self-care theory in understanding self-neglect. Further theoretical development of both self-care and self-neglect theory and attending core concepts is an important objective.

Background. The notions of self-neglect and self-care are frequently linked in the literature. The relationship between self-neglect and self-care is not clear and the strengths and limitations in using self-care theory to facilitate a greater understanding of self-neglect will be addressed. Specifically the issues of self-care agency, self-care requisites, objectivity, class and culture, and lifestyle choice will be critically evaluated in the context of self-neglect theory.

Conclusion. Self-care theory has a useful role to play in furthering our understanding of self-neglect. Self-care theory is able to explain some aspects of self-neglect but not others, although this may be a reflection of the relatively underdeveloped state of self-care theories or alternatively may reflect a more fundamental limitation in our ability to fully explain human behaviour.

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