Francis_Carryer_Wilkinson - Complexity of food.pdf (1.05 MB)
The complexity of food for people with multiple long-term health conditions
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-22, 22:50 authored by Helen Francis, Jenny Carryer, Jillian WilkinsonJillian Wilkinson
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION The prevalence of long-term health conditions (LTCs) continues to increase and it is normal for people to have several. Lifestyle is a core feature of the self-management support given to people with LTCs, yet it seems to fail to meet their needs. From a larger study exploring the experiences of this group, this paper reports on the role of food and mealtimes, and the effect of the nutritional advice on the lives of people with several LTCs. METHODS The experiences of 16 people with several advanced LTCs were explored using multiple qualitative case studies. Over an 18-month period, contact with participants included monthly conversations, two longer, semi-structured interviews and one interview with their primary care clinicians. The data were analysed inductively using thematic analysis. RESULTS There was profound social, psychological and cultural significance of food to the participants. These aspects of food were then described using the Whare Tapa Wha model of health. The approach to food and nutrition participants experienced in health care was closely associated with conventional weight management. They found this advice largely irrelevant and therefore ineffective. DISCUSSION The pressure people with several LTCs experience during clinical encounters has perverse effects on wellbeing and reinforces an overall sense of failure. This research challenges the assumption that all people have the will, agency and income to follow the advice they receive about nutrition and exercise. Considering people’s needs using the Whare Tapa Wha model of health offers clinicians a framework to re-conceptualise the core features of self-management support and provide realistic, compassionate care that will optimise the quality of life for people with multiple LTCs.
Preferred citationFrancis, H., Carryer, J. & Wilkinson, J. (2018). The complexity of food for people with multiple long-term health conditions. Journal of Primary Health Care, 10(3), 186-186. https://doi.org/10.1071/hc18020
Journal titleJournal of Primary Health Care
Online publication date2018-07-23
Long-term conditionsnutritionself-managementAdultAgedAged, 80 and overCultural CharacteristicsFemaleFoodHealth StatusHumansInterpersonal RelationsInterviews as TopicLife StyleMaleMealsMiddle AgedMultiple Chronic ConditionsQualitative ResearchQuality of LifeSelf-ManagementSocial SupportPreventionNutritionClinical ResearchBehavioral and Social Science7.1 Individual care needs7 Management of diseases and conditionsGeneric health relevance3 Good Health and Well Being2 Zero HungerPublic Health and Health Services not elsewhere classifiedNursing not elsewhere classified