Practice nurses should develop and deploy 'stronger self-care and self-management interventions' for patients who self-neglect, the authors of a Scottish study conclude.
Overall, the standardised consultation rate (SCR) for self-neglect was 166 per 100, 000 of the Scottish population in 2007/8. People who self-neglect came from across the age-spectrum. However, SCRs were highest in men and women aged 65-74 years (44 and 23 per 100 000 in 2007/8 respectively) and 75 years plus (70 and 29 per 100 000 respectively).
Self-neglect was more common among people from deprived backgrounds: SCRs of 3.9 and 7.8 per 100 000 in deprivation quintiles 1 and 5 in 2007/8 respectively. In addition, people who self-neglect suffered from a wide range of comorbid conditions.
'Nurse interventions generally focus on comorbidities and not self-neglect,' the authors note. They add that practice nurses need to be aware of self-neglect's varied presentations' and should develop 'stronger self-care and self-management interventions' for these patients.
- The study was published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice (2012;18:454-461).