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Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog

New PhD research addressing the multimorbidity challenge in working-age adults

Esca van Blarikom recently joined the APOLLO-MM team in her role as NIHR ARC North Thames funded PhD candidate. In this blog post, Esca sets out why her project exploring working-age adults' experience of living with co-existing physical and mental health conditions is so necessary.

I was drawn to this PhD because I loved the idea of working in a multidisciplinary team. Also, as a medical anthropologist, I am interested in studying the dynamics of health inequities, and the intersections of social, psychological, and physical vulnerabilities. ‘Multimorbidity’ is considered a major health challenge around the globe today, but it is a fuzzy concept; not so much indicating a pathological problem ‘out there’, but rather pointing out challenges in the organisation of care. Ethnography as a method lends itself particularly well for studying ‘messiness’ and complexity and unpacking taking-for-granted concepts carrying not-so-taken-for-granted meanings, which is why I am excited to work on the theme of ‘multimorbidity’.

Organising polypharmacy: unpacking medicines, unpacking meanings

I recently presented some of our work from the APOLLO-MM project at the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada. I presented a Distinguished Paper in a plenary session, having won the Society of Academic Primary Care senior presenter’s prize at the SAPC annual conference in Exeter in the summer of 2019.


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