Organisation of informal networks of chronically ill patients enabling the co-creation of care services

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Co-creation builds on the integration of resources such as knowledge and experience which the patient brings along. The goal of this thesis is to gain insight in how the organisational conditions governing the informal patient network of chronically ill patients are supporting co-creation of care services. This research is seen as a diagnostic, practice-oriented, exploratory research with a main focus on contribution to theory. Data analysis is done by template analysis. Problems with co-creation in the patient network arise if the patient takes on a passive role and a relationship between the patient and the healthcare professional barely exists. This research focuses on three organisational conditions. The organisational conditions addressed are the structure of the patient-centred network, technology used in these networks and the human resources focussing on self-management and patient engagement. Critical points in the phenomenon of co-creation are human resources and the willingness to co-operate with healthcare professionals as well as with fellow patients to gain information. In combination with looking at the organisational conditions, four processes are investigated: patient-healthcare professional interaction, knowledge use, network development, and self-management and self-organisation, each have different characteristics, outcomes, and actors playing a role. The interaction process between healthcare professional and patient contributes to co-creation since a dialogue is formed in this interaction. Knowledge is an important factor in the co-creation of care services. Without knowledge no co-creation would exist. Bringing information into the interaction between patients and healthcare professionals is the key to co-creation. Network development creates connections between patients which are used to share information, therefore it is a supporting process of the process of knowledge use, but knowledge still can be gathered in different ways than using connections with fellow patients. More co-creation leads to a higher availability of self-management and self-organisation. In the end, all three categories of organisational conditions play a part in the phenomenon of co-creation. The role of human resources has more impact on the phenomenon of co-creation than technological means and structure. Technology plays a great role in the accessibility of information which helps to perform co-creation. Structure seems of less importance, since not every respondent actively takes part in a patient network.
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