Older women's experiences with multiple health conditions: daily challenges and care practices

Health Care Women Int. 2005 Sep;26(8):672-92. doi: 10.1080/07399330500177147.


Guided by life-course theory and a trajectory model of chronic illness, we examined the health care practices and management strategies used by 17 older women with multiple chronic conditions. Qualitative analyses revealed that the women played an active role in shaping the course of their illness within their everyday lives. Pain and a decline in energy frequently interfered with completion of daily activities. To compensate, many women reduced and slowed down the pace of activities they performed while emphasizing the importance of maintaining independence and autonomy. Appreciative of support from family members, at times the women received more help and advice than they preferred.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Management
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Rural Population
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Support
  • Social Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Virginia
  • Women's Health*