Stress Theory, Health Care, Medical Technology, Self-Concept


How does self-care technology influence self-concept in patients with chronic health care needs? Progressive patient reliance on self-care is tantamount to the extension of independence and self-reliance in all countries with populations experiencing chronic health challenges. With remarkable advancements in medical technology of late, understanding the effects of self-care technology on patient well-being is critical. This work explores existing literature on the intersection of medical care and technological interventions in populations dealing with chronic illnesses, through the lens of a researcher involved with the HOPE Project in Hawai'i exploring technology use by patients undergoing dialysis treatments. The perspective of this researcher is of note: a patient with type 1 diabetes implementing self-care technology every day. The interplay of self-identity and self-concept is discussed. Stress theory identifies critical areas of risk for patients with chronic medical needs: perceptions of self-efficacy, social support availability and maintenance, and patient experiences as medical patients and social organisms. Research involving self-care technology shows marked improvement in perceptions of self-efficacy, perceptions of socialsupport availability, and positive gains in the lives of people dealing with chronic illnesses. The overarching discussion of human rights must include the narratives of people struggling to find success with chronic illnesses