About this Research Topic
Self-neglect is a major challenge for health and social care practice. Individual self-neglect behaviours include poor self-care and hygiene, as well as the neglect of living conditions. Self-neglect encompasses an unwillingness and/or inability to care for self. It is associated with adverse outcomes on health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, and often leads to a reduction in quality of life for the individual and, at times, their immediate social units. Self-neglect has been studied from the perspective of the individual, and is increasingly looked at in terms of improving social care delivery and outcomes for affected communities. This Research Topic will contribute to knowledge by widening the analytical lenses of self-neglect to the social, cultural, political, organisational, institutional and other structural factors and contexts which may impact on self-neglect, both as a potential cause and remedy.
There is no doubt that self-neglect brings with it great costs to the individual, to the health and social care sectors and, in turn, to various aspects of the socio-economic system. In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, increased physical isolation compounded by the ever-growing socioeconomic deprivation gap in the UK is likely to result in higher rates of self-neglect. Given recent socio-political challenges, this Research Topic would be well-placed to address gaps in how self-neglect is understood and addressed through a sociological lens. Interest in identifying the socio-economic and institutional determinants of self-neglect, thus, becomes a significant endeavour in changing times when multiple events appear to compound social and health divides. Self-neglect tends to be associated with older clients in how it is treated and researched. We would be keen to challenge the definition of self-neglect to encompass a wider collection of behaviours in contemporary contexts, such as overworking including remote work, burnout and blurring of home/life boundaries, informational fatigue, inadequate sleep, nourishment or exercise, health anxieties, responses to caring responsibilities and so forth, affecting a range of typically disadvantaged groups, including ethnic minorities, women, disabled and those with immigrant status.
We are interested in opinion, conceptual and empirical research papers based on qualitative, quantitative and/or mixed methods exploring relevant themes surrounding social, cultural, political, organisational, institutional and other structural factors and contexts which may have associations with self-neglect. Whilst we would accept client case study papers, we require these to demonstrate an awareness of the client's interaction with their social contexts and the sociological factors which underpin the client’s circumstances. We do expect a critical assessment of the adopted methodologies. Further, we are interested in papers which place their findings and conclusions within a theoretical context, be it pre-existing theory or theoretical formulation. Whilst we are happy to accept a range of paper formats, we would encourage authors to operationalise their concepts or findings to formulate systematic recommendations geared at social issues surrounding self-neglect. We also encourage papers from outside of the UK setting, but request that these take a comparative perspective, generating learning for the UK context. Overall, we would welcome secondary or primary research papers that use novel, creative and inclusive methods, such as community-led research, arts-based methods, dialogic approaches, digital ethnographies and so forth. We are especially interested in work motivated by societal betterment.
Keywords: self-neglect, social care delivery, socio.economic determinants, institutional determinants, disadvantaged groups
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.