Patients’ Theme research published in Journal of Health Psychology

An article written by researchers from our patients theme has been published in the Journal of Health Psychology. The article entitled ‘Permission to participate? – A qualitative study of participation in patients from differing socio-economic backgrounds, focuses upon self-management of chronic illnesses and how the wider social and cultural networks of patients can influence how effectively they participate in self-management of their condition.

It follows on from a research project, led by Dr Joanne Protheroe, which analysed how respondents from different socio-economic backgrounds perceive participation in health care and self management of long term conditions. Patients theme lead, Professor Anne Rogers said: “Our analysis showed that self-management programmes and interactions about long term conditions aimed simply at advocating the improvement of ‘health literacy’ and choice will not be successful if broader aspects of people’s decision making and environments remain unaddressed.  The research points to the need for effort to be made to explore peoples’ perceptions of engaging with health professionals and how they can identify and assert their needs – especially in relation to patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

She added: “During our analysis, we found that patients often feel that active participation in long term condition management is not always wanted, expected or legitimate because the health system determines what patients are entitled to. Therefore patients tend to look for cues and prompts to participate in self-management rather than presuming that they can, should, or know how to do it or proactively make suggestions.”

In response to this research, our patients theme is now developing and evaluating a dedicated tool known as PLANS, (Patient Led Assessment for Network Support) which identifies patients’ needs for support in managing a long term condition in both the community and a domestic setting.

Read the full article here.