In health care, self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. Some place self-care on a continuum with health care providers at the opposite end to self-care while others see it in a complex multidimensional construct. In modern medicine, preventive medicine aligns most closely with self-care. A lack of adherence to medical advice and the onset of a mental disorder can make self-care difficult. Self-care is seen as a partial solution to the global rise in health care costs placed on governments. The notion that self-care is a fundamental pillar of health and social care means it is an essential component of a modern health care system governed by regulations and statutes. Self-care is considered a primary form of care for patients with chronic conditions who make many day-to-day decisions, or self-manage, their illness. Self-management is critical and self-management education complements traditional patient education in primary care to support patients to live the best possible quality of life with their chronic condition. Self-care is learned, purposeful and continuous. In philosophy, self-care refers to the care and cultivation of self in a comprehensive sense, focusing in particular on the soul and the knowledge of self.[citation needed]


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