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Abstract

Chronic conditions are an increasing problem in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) yet, the challenges faced by low-income populations with these conditions in such countries are not well understood. Based on in-depth interviews with people affected by chronic conditions and their family members, this paper describes the experience of patients suffering from diabetes or hypertension in rural communities of Mozambique, Nepal, and Peru. We analysed our data using the concepts of disruption and adaptive strategies, finding that despite being very different countries, the implications in daily lives, interpersonal relationships, and family dynamics are similar, and that oftentimes such impact is defined along gender lines. We show that adjustments to living with a chronic disease are not always easy, particularly when they imply changes and reconfiguration of roles and responsibilities for which neither the individual nor their families are prepared. The study adds to the literature on the disruptive effects of chronic conditions and stresses the importance of contextualising disruptive experiences among disadvantaged populations within weak health systems. Our findings highlight the relevance of understanding the challenges of developing adaptive solutions to chronic care in resource-scarce contexts.

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