The role of combinatorial health technologies in supporting older people with long-term conditions : Responsibilisation or co-management of healthcare?

Varey, Sandra and Dixon, Mandy and Hernandez Huerta, Alejandra and Mateus, Ceu and Palmer, Tom and Milligan, Christine (2021) The role of combinatorial health technologies in supporting older people with long-term conditions : Responsibilisation or co-management of healthcare? Social Science and Medicine, 269: 113545. ISSN 0277-9536

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Neoliberalism, austerity and health responsibilisation are increasingly informing policies and practices designed to encourage older patients to take responsibility for the management of their own healthcare. Combined with an ageing population, novel ways to address the increasing healthcare needs of older people have become a priority, with the emergence in recent years of new models of integrated care enhanced by combinatorial health technologies (CHTs). This paper presents qualitative findings from the evaluation of one programme, the Lancashire and Cumbria Innovation Alliance (LCIA) Test Bed, a programme funded by NHS England and conducted in England between 2016 and 2018. Drawing on data from patients, family carers, and staff members involved in the programme, this paper explores the extent to which CHTs, as part of the LCIA Test Bed programme, contributed to health responsibilisation amongst older people with complex health conditions. Through this programme, we find that relationships between patients, family carers and healthcare professionals combined to create a sense of reassurance and shared responsibility for all parties. Our findings suggest the need for a more nuanced approach to responsibilisation and self-management for older people living with complex health conditions. By focusing on co-management – and recognising the potential of CHTs to facilitate this approach – there is potential to increase patient confidence in managing their health condition, reduce carer burden, and enhance clinician satisfaction in their work roles. While neoliberal agendas are focused on self-management and self-responsibility of one’s own health care, with technology as a facilitator of this, our findings suggest that the successful use of CHTs for older people with complex health conditions may instead be rooted in co-management. This paper argues that co-management may be a more successful model of care for patients, carers and clinicians.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Science and Medicine
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science and Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science and Medicine, 269, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113545
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? ageingco-managementhealthcarehealth technologiesneoliberalismresponsibilisationself-managementhealth(social science) ??
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Deposited On:
11 Dec 2020 15:18
Last Modified:
10 Jan 2024 00:30