The Self-Care Matrix: A Unifying Framework for Self-Care

We are seeing a global rise in long-term noncommunicable diseases, linked with our inability to protect our own wellbeing.

The World Health Organization defines self-care as: 

"the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote, maintain health, prevent disease and to cope with illness with or without the support of a health care provider."

There are multiple models that have been drawn up that attempt to define and support individuals put self-care into practice. However, a lack of clarity and widely accepted framework for self-care has led to confusion when researching and creating guidelines for use in practice.

To address these issues, researchers from the UK have sought to develop a matrix that combines definitions and frameworks.

Following extensive analysis of existing models, the researchers constructed a matrix that describes the following four categories of self-care:

  1. Activities
  2. Behaviours
  3. Context
  4. Environment.

It is hoped that the Self-Care Matrix will simplify our understanding of the different elements that make up self-care. The Self-Care Matrix is intended for use by all stakeholders who are interested in the study, development, commissioning and evaluation of self-care initiatives.

El-Osta, A., Webber, D., Gnani, S., Banarsee, R., Mummery, D., Majeed, A., & Smith, P. (2019). The Self-Care Matrix: A unifying framework for self-care.-Selfcare Journal. SelfCare Journal.