Changing choices: disabled and chronically ill people's experiences of reconsidering choices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To increase understanding of disabled and chronically ill people's experiences of revisiting choices by considering events that prompted people to reconsider choices, what factors motivated them to act upon these events and what factors affected their experiences of revisiting choices.

Methods: A sub-sample of 20 disabled and chronically ill people who took part in a qualitative, longitudinal study exploring choice-making in the context of changing circumstances. Each person was interviewed three times. Analysis focussed on choices that people had been prompted to revisit.

Results: Most choices were about health or social care and were revisited within a year due to: changes in health or social circumstances, poorer than expected outcomes, and external interventions. People were motivated to make changes by a desire to maintain independence and control, but perceived short-term costs of decision-making could act as a deterrent. Experiences of revisiting choices were affected by help from other people and emotional strength.

Discussion: Making and revisiting choices is complex, people need support to engage with the continual cycle of choice-making. People who instigate revisions of their own accord may be particularly vulnerable to lack of support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-132
Number of pages17
JournalChronic illness
Issue number2
Early online date4 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • disabled adults
  • chronically ill adults
  • Choice/decision making
  • social care services
  • health services
  • independence

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