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Optimising Pathways

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.

    Self-management and health care transition for young people with a chronic condition

    The Optimising Pathways project investigates the ways in which young people with chronic health conditions learn to take on more responsibility for their health-care as they get older. That is, the way that teenagers with conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer or cystic fibrosis gradually become more independent with their own health-care as they mature.

    Through Optimising Pathways we aim to learn about how young people with chronic conditions learn to manage more of their own health care as they mature. We are exploring the types of difficulties this raises at school, at home and in social situations. We also want to understand what factors can help and hinder the process.

    The Optimising Pathways project involves interviews with 35 young people, 35 of their parents, and 30 health care practitioners. In addition to the interviews, our visual research approach asks that the young people who participate also take some photos for us about living with a chronic condition. A DVD exhibition of some of these photos has been developed as part of this project (contact Sarah Drew for further information on DVD) as well as an  accompanying postcard (JPG 78KB).


    We plan to use the information gathered to inform other young people, parents and health care practitioners about self-management in adolescence, and helpful ways to assist them to work well towards this goal in the future.


    • Dept of Health and Ageing - Asthma targeted intervention grant
    • Windermere Foundation
    • Invergowrie Foundation


    Susan Sawyer