1st Edition

Living with Chronic Illness The Experience of Patients and Their Families

Edited By Robert Anderson, Michael Bury Copyright 1988
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1988, Living with Chronic Illness presents a vivid account of the reality of life with chronic illness ­– from the perspective of patients and their families. The authors look at the expectations, priorities, and problems of those most affected by chronic illness, and examine the strategies they have developed to cope with their considerable disadvantages. The experience of carers, the ways in which their problems change over time, are also major themes in the book.

    The book looks at the everyday life of people with the following conditions: stroke, renal failure, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, heart attack, epilepsy, rectal cancer, psoriasis, and diabetes. In each case, an overview of the consequences of a particular illness is presented, before discussion of specific problems in daily life – maintaining family relationships, managing treatment regimes, coping with work and home commitments, and living with bodily change and social stigma.

    This volume will be of importance to all those concerned with providing support and planning care for the chronically ill – in the health and social services and in voluntary organizations. Students of medical sociology, policy makers and planners will also find the insights and research presented here valuable in the understanding of the daily life of people with chronic illness. It will also be of use for those in professional training, in nursing, social work, general practice and related areas.

    Introduction 1. The quality of life of stroke patients and their carers 2. Reconstructing lives: negotiating the meaning of multiple sclerosis 3. Striking balances: living with Parkinson’s disease 4. Meanings at risk: the experience of arthritis 5. Wives of heart attack patients: the stress of caring 6. Coming to terms with diabetes: coping strategies and non-compliance 7. Accommodating epilepsy in families 8. The experience of stigma: living with rectal cancer 9. Living with renal failure on home haemodialysis 10. The experience of psoriasis under treatment Conclusion


    Robert Anderson, at the time of the first publication, was Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social Studies in Medical Care, London, UK.

    Michael Bury is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Royal Holloway University of London, UK. His research interests are in medical sociology, the study of chronic illness and disability, ageing, and the health and quality of life among older people, and cultural dimensions of health and medicine.