Taking our Time: Chronic Illness and Time-Based Objects in Families


This study examined the use of time-based objects by patients and their families to manage chronic illnesses at home. Calendar systems and medication containers, the main types of time-based objects studied, were used as part of two family-based collaborative work practices: 1) prompting health management activities, and 2) safeguarding these activities. Additionally, these artifacts were part of two social interaction patterns that managed emotional intimacy: 1) expressing support, and 2) hiding and disguising illness. Accordingly, home-based illness management may be more collaborative than previously recognized. Moreover, through their interactive incorporation into family life, time-based objects are laden with psychosocial significance. Breakdowns in temporal support were also evident, and were accompanied by: missed medication events; rationing of medications; medication errors; and difficulties with preparation for medical appointments. We propose novel artifact designs to better support patients and their families in managing the temporal aspects of chronic illness together.

DOI: 10.1145/2675133.2675200

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@inproceedings{Barbarin2015TakingOT, title={Taking our Time: Chronic Illness and Time-Based Objects in Families}, author={Andrea Barbarin and Tiffany C. Veinot and Predrag V. Klasnja}, booktitle={CSCW}, year={2015} }