The influence of personal communities on the self-management of medication taking: A wider exploration of medicine work.


Cheraghi-Sohi, S; Jeffries, M; Stevenson, F; Ashcroft, DM; Carr, M; Oliver, K; Rogers, A; (2014) The influence of personal communities on the self-management of medication taking: A wider exploration of medicine work. Chronic illness, 11 (2). pp. 77-92. ISSN 1742-3953 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1742395314537841

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Abstract

There is a lack of focus on the broader social context, networks and influences on medicine-taking as part of illness work. This work adopts a social network approach and seeks to explicate the nature of medicine-taking work that people with multiple long-term conditions (LTCs) and their social network members (SNMs) do in attempting to take their medications on a daily basis, the division of labour amongst these members and when and why SNMs become involved in that work. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 people who had multiple LTCs. Medication networks were constructed and the division of labour in relation to medication-work was explored. Four types of medication-work emerged: medication articulation, surveillance, emotional and informational. Involvement of SNMs in medication-work was selective, performed primarily by family members, within the home. Involvement reflected network composition and/or an individual's conceptualisation/presentation of self. Our findings support and extend the conceptualisation of routine medicine-taking as a type of work. Furthermore, we illustrate the involvement of SNMs in aspects of medicine-work. Health professionals should explore and support the role of SNMs in medicine-taking where possible. Future research should explore the implications of network types and compositions on medicine-taking and associated work.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 24920009
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4646424

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