BACKGROUND: Information on medicines is key for safety and quality of care in long-term treatment courses with medicines. Little is known on how patients self-manage medication with information, and how interactions with health professionals influence such self-managing.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate how patients manage long-term medication with information, and how interactions with health professionals influence this managing, with the aim of developing a typology of patients' practices for managing with information. A secondary objective was to generate theoretical reflections on patients' roles in establishing resilience in health care systems.
METHODS: Qualitative interviews with 15 chronic medicine users. A Safety-II-approach was used to obtain knowledge of what worked for medicine users, at the same time as acknowledging hindrances. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and Halkiers' method for ideal-typologizing.
RESULTS: Four types of practices for managing medication with information were identified, distinguished by patients' ways of self-managing on their own and through relations with health professionals: Ideal-type I: Self-determined and highly self-managing; Ideal-type II: Security-seeking and self-managing; Ideal-type III: Dependent with limited self-managing; Ideal-type IV: Co-managing with close family. The findings suggest that patients with a high degree of self-managing medication with information have good chances for facilitating quality of medical treatment. For patients who are more dependent on oral information from health professionals, the character of dialogue facilitated or hindered their self-managing. All patients had the best options for managing medication when being recognized by health professionals through dialogues.
CONCLUSION: A typology of 4 types of managing practices was developed, characterized by patients' different abilities to self-manage medication with information and their relations to health professionals. Recognizing patients' different behaviors for managing medication with information is important for maximizing treatment quality of long-term medical treatment in a modern and resilient healthcare system.