Design Hotspots for Care of Discordant Chronic Comorbidities: Patients' Perspectives

Wednesday 3 October 2018
Organisers or author: 
Tom Ongwere, Gabrielle Cantor, Sergio Ramirez Martin, Patrick C. Shih, James Clawson, Kay Connelly

Full paper.

Patients with discordant chronic comorbidities (DCCs) have multiple, often unrelated, chronic illnesses with opposing treatment instructions that need to be addressed concurrently. While many tools are available for a single chronic condition or a set of well-defined health behaviors, there is a lack of tools designed to support patients in managing multiple conditions whose suggested treatments may be in opposition to each other. This paper reports on a 2-week photo elicitation interview study of 15 patients with type-2 diabetes and either depression, arthritis, or end-stage renal disease. Participants discussed the barriers they encountered in managing their health and strategies they used to overcome those barriers. Our findings highlight the difficulties faced by patients with type-2 diabetes and DCCs, including adjusting to having multiple health problems, maintenance of their support networks, and financial concerns. Here, we present design implications grounded in the current literature as well as the results of our study. Our work points to a new, novel strategies for care and treatment not only of DCCs but also of other complex conditions.