Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 16(4) March 2003 : 63-65.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2003.20306

Commentary: Operationalizing Self-Care Within the Healthcare System

Souraya Sidani

[This paper is a commentary on An Examination of the Self-Care Concept Uncovers a New Direction for Healthcare Reform by Dianne McCormack.]

The benefits of self-care make it a concept of critical importance for designing health and nursing care offered across the healthcare sectors (i.e., primary, acute and long-term). However, a clear definition of self-care should be determined prior to adopting it as a core concept underpinning care. It is viewed as a process that is initiated independently by the individual or in collaboration with healthcare professionals (HCPs), in response to a perceived need or demand, to achieve the goals of promoting, maintaining or enhancing health. The self-care process encompasses self-observation or monitoring, perception and identification of changes in functioning, judgment as to the meaning and severity of these changes, assessment of options for actions and selection, and performance of appropriate actions. This process involves active client participation in health-related decisions and in implementation of healthcare (Henry and Holzemer 1997; Sidani 2003). The individual's engagement in the self-care process is influenced by several factors (Gantz 1990; Sidani 2003).



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