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Chronic Illn. 2015 Jun;11(2):77-92. doi: 10.1177/1742395314537841. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

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

Author information

1
NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Institute of Population Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom sudeh.cheraghi-sohi@manchester.ac.uk.
2
NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Institute of Population Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
3
UCL, London, United Kingdom.
4
University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

DISCUSSION:

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.

KEYWORDS:

Multimorbidity; adherence; illness work; long-term conditions; social network

PMID:
24920009
DOI:
10.1177/1742395314537841
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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