Conceptualising and responding to self-neglect: challenges for adult safeguarding

Braye, Suzy, Orr, David and Preston-Shoot, Michael (2011) Conceptualising and responding to self-neglect: challenges for adult safeguarding. Journal of Adult Protection, 13 (4). pp. 182-193. ISSN 1466-8203

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Purpose: The research reported here aimed to scope the concept of self-neglect as it is explored in the literature and interpreted in practice by professionals involved in adult safeguarding. Design: The approach taken included a systematic search and thematic analysis of English-language literature on self-neglect, workshops with UK-based adult safeguarding leads and practitioners from social services, police and health services, and scrutiny of Safeguarding Adults Boards' documentation. Findings: The concept of self-neglect is complex with contrasting definitions and aetiology, accompanied by debates on the principles that guide intervention. Decision-making capacity is a key pivot upon which professional responses to self-neglect turn. Intervention in self-neglect requires careful exploration in the context of principles of personalisation, choice, control and empowerment that underpin policy in adult social care and safeguarding. Research limitations/implications: As a conceptual scoping review, this study sought to establish broad themes of use to practitioners working with self-neglect. It thus does not carry out full quality review of the literature identified and discussed, but serves as a base for this to be done in future. Practical implications: Assessment in self-neglect should consider the influence of a number of possible causative factors, and intervention must balance respect for autonomy on the one hand and a perceived duty to preserve health and wellbeing on the other. Value: This article summarises and critically analyses the emerging key features of evidence-informed practice in the challenging field of self-neglect.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adult protection, Adults, Capacity, Decision making, Safeguarding, Self neglect
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
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Depositing User: Suzy Braye
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:34
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 10:46
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