Self-neglect: a review of opportunities and barriers to federal policy and research priorities
The Journal of Adult Protection
Article publication date: 19 May 2022
Issue publication date: 20 October 2022
Self-neglect is a public health concern that can manifest as failure to provide oneself adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication or safety precautions. This paper sought to inform federal policy and research priorities regarding effective strategies to detect, prevent and address self-neglect. This study aims to inform federal policy and research priorities regarding effective strategies to detect, prevent, and address self-neglect.
The authors conducted a rapid review of self-neglect literature and interviews with five national subject matter experts to inform federal policy and research priorities.
This study identified gaps in the literature and several approaches and numerous challenges to preventing, identifying and addressing self-neglect. The lack of a nationally accepted definition of self-neglect, a dearth of longitudinal studies which has limited research on self-neglect etiology and trends, and limited development and validation of screening tools, are among the challenges.
Findings indicate that comparisons of self-neglect definitions, and longitudinal studies of self-neglect by subpopulations, are needed areas of future research. Issues for policy consideration include national self-neglect data collection and reporting requirements.
This study synthesizes recent literature on self-neglect, highlights gaps in the literature on self-neglect and points toward federal policy priorities for advancing effective strategies to detect, prevent and address self-neglect.
Funding: This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation under Contract No. HHSP233201600021I.
Howard, J.N., Voltmer, H., Ferrell, A., Croteau-Johnson, N. and Lepore, M. (2022), "Self-neglect: a review of opportunities and barriers to federal policy and research priorities", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 24 No. 3/4, pp. 149-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-01-2022-0003
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