Self-neglect consultation rates and comorbidities in primary care


Correspondence: William Lauder, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK. Email:


The aims of this study were, through secondary data analysis, to establish consultation rates for self-neglect by 100 000 of the Scottish population and by deprivation and to identify the main comorbidities associated with self-neglect. Data from a national dataset recording consultations in general practices where a self-neglect diagnoses was made were analysed. Rates of self-neglect in patients who consulted a Practice Nurse or General Medical Practitioners vary over time. Self-neglect is more common in the 75 years and over group but is found across the age spectrum. It is more common in males and is linked to higher levels of deprivation. Self-neglect is recorded as a diagnosis relatively infrequently in general practice. A wide range of comorbid conditions are found coexisting with self-neglect. Nurse interventions generally focus on comorbidities and not self-neglect. Self-neglect does present in primary care. Nurses need to be aware of its varied presentations. Practice Nurse interventions suggest we need to develop self-management interventions rather than respond to associated comorbid conditions.