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Chronic Disease Self-management Experiences among Marginalized People Who Use Drugs

PI and project team: Boucher, L., Martin, A., Kendall, C., Lalonde, C., Pineau, D., Diliso, N., Lafleche, T., Liddy, C., Leonard, L., Boyd, R., & LeBlanc, S.

People who use drugs (PWUD) commonly experience chronic and multimorboid conditions, as well as intersecting stigma and disparities in the social determinants of health. In Canada, the Expanded Chronic Care Model (E-CCM) has been adopted for the prevention and management of increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. One domain of this model pertains to self-management programs aimed to improve health behaviours, health outcomes, and quality of life across chronic conditions. However, substance use issues are often not considered within chronic disease initiatives. Given the lack of literature on PWUD in the area of chronic disease self-management, a foundational understanding of the experiences and needs for self-management support among this community is required to identify or adapt existing interventions and to inform developing new initiatives. As such, the primary goal (identified by the community) of this project is to explore the chronic disease self-management and self-management support experiences of socioeconomically marginalized PWUD living with chronic conditions. The project is informed by harm reduction principles and incorporates a holistic, patient-centered approach to improving self-management services. Findings will inform people working in public health, health care, or research areas, with respect to developing new self-management supports for PWUD and other disadvantaged groups, as well as identifying strategies for expanding access to currently available supports.

The findings have been published in Qualitative Health Research: ​“The Drug Use Unfortunately isn’t all Bad”: Chronic Disease Self-Management Complexity and Strategy Among Marginalized People Who Use Drugs​