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The integrated and adaptable dynamics of the Caring Life Course Theory and its constructs

posted on 2023-12-10, 00:32 authored by Maria Alejandra Pinero de PlazaMaria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza

The integrated and adaptable dynamics of the Caring Life Course Theory and its constructs

The Caring Life Course Theory (CLCT) is an emerging interdisciplinary approach to understanding caring and self-care throughout a person's life course.[1] It proposes 14 theoretical constructs that work together in an integrated and adaptable way based on a person's context, health status, and circumstances (shown in Figure 1).[2-8] In this theory, ‘Fundamental Care’ is an essential construct, which refers to the care required by all people for health, development, well-being, welfare, and survival (illustrated in detail in Figure 2).[1, 9, 10] The CLCT examines care needs and provision over time, emphasising the combination of ‘self-care’ and ‘care networks’ as the support needed to meet a person's holistic care requirements in a coordinated way. Such networks involve formal and informal carers via natural or technological means, all crucial in addressing the evolving aspects of ‘Fundamental Care’ and the interplay of its elements across time (Figure 2).[1-8, 10]


[1] Kitson A, Feo R, Lawless M, Arciuli J, Clark R, Golley R, Lange B, Ratcliffe J and Robinson S 2022 Towards a unifying caring life‐course theory for better self‐care and caring solutions: A discussion paper Journal of Advanced Nursing 78 e6-e20

[2] Barbabella F, Melchiorre M G, Quattrini S, Papa R, Lamura G, Richardson E and van Ginneken E 2017 How can eHealth improve care for people with multimorbidity in Europe?: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe Copenhagen)

[3] Pinero De Plaza MA, Beleigoli A, Mudd A, Tieu M, McMillan P, Lawless M, Feo R, Archibald M, Kitson A. Not Well Enough to Attend Appointments: Telehealth Versus Health Marginalisation. InHealthier Lives, Digitally Enabled 2021 (pp. 72-79). IOS Press. doi:10.3233/SHTI210013

[4] Pinero de Plaza M A, Beleigoli A, Brown S, Bulto L N, Gebremichael L G, Nesbitt K, Tieu M, Pearson V, Noonan S, McMillan P, Clark R A, Hines S, Kitson A, Champion S, Dafny H and Hendriks J M 2022 Effectiveness of telehealth versus standard care on health care utilization, health-related quality of life, and well-being in homebound populations: a systematic review protocol JBI Evid Synth 20 2734-42

[5] Pinero De Plaza MA, Conroy T, Mudd A, Kitson A. Using a Complex Network Methodology to Track, Evaluate, and Transform Fundamental Care. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2021 Dec 15;284:31-35. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210656. PMID: 34920462.

[6] WHO 2018 Continuity and coordination of care: a practice brief to support implementation of the WHO Framework on integrated people-centred health services

[7] Pinero de Plaza M A 2023 The network of interactions between the elements of the fundamentals of care framework across the life course. figshare.

[8] Pinero de Plaza M A, Yadav L and Kitson A 2023 Co-designing, measuring, and optimizing innovations and solutions within complex adaptive health systems Frontiers in Health Services 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/frhs.2023.1154614

[9] Feo R, Conroy T, Jangland E, Muntlin Athlin Å, Brovall M, Parr J, Blomberg K and Kitson A 2018 Towards a standardised definition for fundamental care: A modified Delphi study Journal of clinical nursing 27 2285-99

[10] Lawless M T, Tieu M, Golley R. and Kitson A. 2023 How and where does “care” fit within seminal life‐course approaches? A narrative review and critical analysis Journal of Advanced Nursing A.


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