ERIC Number: EJ694676
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Reference Count: 33
The Drug User's Identity and How It Relates to Being Hepatitis C Antibody Positive: A Qualitative Study
Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, v11 n2 p129-147 Apr 2004
The increasing health problem of hepatitis C virus infection has only recently attracted the attention of psychosocial research, especially among subjects at higher risk (e.g. injecting drug users). There is a lack of information about the knowledge, perceptions and feelings that injecting drug users hold about their hepatitis C antibody positive status and what it means to them. In order to clarify these issues it is necessary to take a holistic view of the problems faced and to explore the sense of self, or "identity", that the drug user has as a backdrop to coping with their hepatitis C antibody positive status. This paper is guided by interpretive phenomenology. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with a group of injecting drug users from a general practice in a socially and economically disadvantaged area of Edinburgh. By allowing the group to talk about their past and present lives the process of how they constructed their identity was illuminated and their knowledge and feelings about their hepatitis C antibody positive status revealed. Lack of knowledge about their condition was evident but was engulfed by their "problem drug user" identity and the many difficulties this entailed. The paper concludes by highlighting important areas of future research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Edinburgh)