Self-Care and Mutual Care in the Context of Person Centred Medicine

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Juan E. Mezzich
Ihsan Salloum
Austen El-Osta
Christine Leyns
Ricardo Fabrega


Introduction: The Geneva Declaration emerging from the 13th Geneva Conference on Person-Centred Medicine dealt with self-care, inter-care, and well-being during COVID-19 pandemic times. For the first time since the inception of the Geneva Conferences, the main theme involved self-care and inter-care. Not only these important healthcare strategies were innovative but also their specific relevance to person-centred care was implicitly assumed but had not been pointedly articulated. There has been significant literature available on self-care and only recently on inter-care, a concept sometimes referred to as mutual care.
Objectives: The main objective of this paper is to examine systematically the place of self-care and mutual care within the framework of person-centred medicine (PCM) and thus help substantiate academically the main theme of the 2021 Geneva Declaration from the International College of Person-Centred Medicine.
Methodology: The main approach involved an exploratory review of the literature aimed at clarifying the extent to which self-care and mutual care are related to the core concepts and to the key principles of PCM.
Results: The relationship of the self-care and mutual care health strategies to the core concepts and key principles of PCM is tabularly appraised. It was found that both health strategies were related to the three core concepts of PCM and to virtually all key principles of PCM, except the holistic framework.
Conclusions: Self-care and mutual care are related to and substantiated by the core concepts and key principles of PCM. The value of these findings could be extended through the identification and analyses of best practices and the performance of systematic research studies.

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