The ‘everyday work’ of living with multimorbidity in socioeconomically deprived areas of Scotland

O'Brien, R., Wyke, S., Guthrie, B., Watt, G. C.C.M. and Mercer, S. W. (2014) The ‘everyday work’ of living with multimorbidity in socioeconomically deprived areas of Scotland. Journal of Comorbidity, 4(1), pp. 1-10. (doi:10.15256/joc.2014.4.32)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.15256/joc.2014.4.32

Abstract

Background Multimorbidity is common in patients living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation and is associated with poor quality of life, but the reasons behind this are not clear. Exploring the ‘everyday life work’ of patients may reveal important barriers to self-management and wellbeing.

Objective To investigate the relationship between the management of multimorbidity and ‘everyday life work’ in patients living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation in Scotland, as part of a programme of work on multimorbidity and deprivation.

Design Qualitative study: individual semi-structured interviews of 14 patients (8 women and 6 men) living in deprived areas with multimorbidity, exploring how they manage. Analysis was continuous and iterative. We report the findings in relation to everyday life work.

Results The in-depth analysis revealed four key themes: (i) the symbolic significance of everyday life work to evidence the work of being ‘normal’; (ii) the usefulness of everyday life work in managing symptoms; (iii) the impact that mental health problems had on everyday life work; and (iv) issues around accepting help for everyday life tasks. Overall, most struggled with the amount of work required to establish a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives, especially in those with mental–physical multimorbidity.

Conclusions Everyday life work is an important component of self-management in patients with multimorbidity in deprived areas, and is commonly impaired, especially in those with mental health problems. Interventions to improve self-management support for patients living with multimorbidity may benefit from an understanding of the role of everyday life work.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wyke, Professor Sally and Mercer, Professor Stewart and O'Brien, Dr Rosaleen and Watt, Professor Graham and Guthrie, Prof Bruce
Authors: O'Brien, R., Wyke, S., Guthrie, B., Watt, G. C.C.M., and Mercer, S. W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Journal of Comorbidity
Publisher:Swiss Medical Press
ISSN:2235-042X

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