Navigating complex systems of care: working-age adults living with multimorbidity

Led by Esca van Blarikom

Esca van Blarikom is a medical anthropologist and PhD student funded by NIHR ARC North Thames. Esca uses ethnographic and visual methods to explore the patient experience of physical and mental co-existing health conditions.

Multimorbidity is commonly associated with ageing. But, a recent study showed that in absolute numbers there are more people of working age living with multiple health conditions. These people are often living with a combination of physical and mental illnesses. This type of multimorbidity is highest in areas of social and economic disadvantage. Esca’s research focuses on the experiences of adults of working age living with multiple health conditions.

The ethnographic approach to this study allows Esca to explore multimorbidity as an experience that manifests as people navigate through systems of care.  Through in-depth interviews, observations, and visual methods, the study aims to show the daily work involved in juggling self-care with work, social, and/or family life.

Esca’s research asks: 

  • What does good practice for integrating mental physical health care look like? 
  • How can care be better organised according to the complex needs of patients?
funded by nihr - White
QM logo_Small_White