“Just one thing after another”: Recursive cascades and chronic conditions

Lenore Manderson, Narelle Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic conditions and their resultant difficulties in daily living frequently occur with other health problems, sometimes due to interactions or complications at a biological level, or as a result of common pathogens or risk factors. On other occasions, they develop independently. Drawing on research conducted with Australian women that began in the mid-2000s and is still ongoing, we highlight how chronic structural factors shape the risk factors of “chronic” conditions, influencing health seeking, continuity of care, and health outcomes. Institutional, economic, and other circumstantial factors pertain and impact health trajectories as much in highly industrialized as in resource poor settings. In illustrating how poverty and social exclusion create the preconditions of multiple chronic health problems, and how chronic health problems increase such disadvantages for individuals and their households, we introduce the idea of “recursive cascades” to capture the often inevitable trajectory of increasing ill health and growing empoverishment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-497
Number of pages19
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Australia
  • chronic
  • chronicity
  • comorbidity
  • conditions
  • social determinants of health

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