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Brief encounters: what do primary care professionals contribute to peoples' self-care support network for long-term conditions? A mixed methods study.

Rogers, A, Vassilev, I, Brooks, H, Kennedy, A and Blickem, C (2016) Brief encounters: what do primary care professionals contribute to peoples' self-care support network for long-term conditions? A mixed methods study. BMC FAMILY PRACTICE, 17 (21). ISSN 1471-2296

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BACKGROUND: Primary care professionals are presumed to play a central role in delivering long-term condition management. However the value of their contribution relative to other sources of support in the life worlds of patients has been less acknowledged. Here we explore the value of primary care professionals in people's personal communities of support for long-term condition management. METHODS: A mixed methods survey with nested qualitative study designed to identify relationships and social network member's (SNM) contributions to the support work of managing a long-term condition conducted in 2010 in the North West of England. Through engagement with a concentric circles diagram three hundred participants identified 2544 network members who contributed to illness management. RESULTS: The results demonstrated how primary care professionals are involved relative to others in ongoing self-care management. Primary care professionals constituted 15.5 % of overall network members involved in chronic illness work. Their contribution was identified as being related to illness specific work providing less in terms of emotional work than close family members or pets and little to everyday work. The qualitative accounts suggested that primary care professionals are valued mainly for access to medication and nurses for informational and monitoring activities. Overall primary care is perceived as providing less input in terms of extended self-management support than the current literature on policy and practice suggests. Thus primary care professionals can be described as providing 'minimally provided support'. This sense of a 'minimally' provided input reinforces limited expectations and value about what primary care professionals can provide in terms of support for long-term condition management. CONCLUSIONS: Primary care was perceived as having an essential but limited role in making a contribution to support work for long-term conditions. This coalesces with evidence of a restricted capacity of primary care to take on the work load of self-management support work. There is a need to prioritise exploring the means by which extended self-care support could be enhanced out-with primary care. Central to this is building a system capable of engaging network capacity to mobilise resources for self-management support from open settings and the broader community.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
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Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 13:25
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:22
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s12875-016-0417-z
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2984
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