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Qual Health Res. 2009 Jun;19(6):829-39. doi: 10.1177/1049732309335447. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

"I'd rather not take it, but . . .": young women's perceptions of medicines.

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University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Little is known about healthy young women's everyday experiences with medicine use and their general perceptions of medicines. In this article, we describe a user-perspective study involving in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 young women between the ages of 16 and 20 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Inspired by Schutz's phenomenology, informants' medicine-taking experiences were considered within the context of their life-worlds. Analysis revealed that the young women possessed predominantly negative perceptions of medicines, which were linked to a preference for complete avoidance of medicines and a desire to maintain a natural body ideal. The essence of participants' experiences was characterized by conflict, as most used medicines at least occasionally, despite the negative perceptions they held. Participants strove to make sense of their medicine-taking practices and provided rationales for their use of medicine, often based on perceptions of need and reduced personal risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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