This is the first issue of SelfCare, a journal founded to provide a home for academic material relating to the role of the consumer in self-managing their healthcare. We feel SelfCare meets an important need. On the one hand opinions and recommendations voiced about consumer healthcare have sometimes been criticised for not having a robust evidence base, and on the other, academics, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry sometimes fail to find an appropriate venue to publish data generated on the subject.
We hope to encourage reports of relevant consumer clinical research, including consumer surveys and market research which will provide fundamental and novel observations germane to the self care environment. We believe that this broad approach to consumer research can provide important insights into what consumers know and how they behave, and thus help guide the future development of healthcare strategy. In all instances we will strive to maintain a peer-reviewed standard of excellence, and so contribute to developing standards and principles to improve the quality of how these data are reported.
An ‘e-journal’ is by nature a global entity. This offers obvious opportunities to compare best practice and regulation around the world. History shows that no one region has a monopoly on innovation in self care, but a forum should exist for experiences to be shared. For this reason SelfCare plans to feature a variety of ways for our readership to interact, including on-line feedback and comments as well as the more formal published ‘Letters to the Editor’. SelfCare is privately funded and does not take advertising in order that we can maintain an independent voice. This means we can address controversial issues unencumbered by a particular agenda – other than the promotion of responsible self care.
We believe that self care will be an increasingly important component of global healthcare if the ever-expanding needs of the global population are to be met in a cost-effective manner. Building sound knowledge and evidence bases for self care is essential to underpin the prudent extension of consumer self-reliance. We hope you enjoy this first issue and we invite you to become part of the SelfCare online community so that you can contribute both your research and your opinions.
S. G Mann
E. P. Brass