Patient work is the labor that patients do to access health information and services, managing symptoms of illness, and managing treatment for illness. Excessive patient work has negative impacts on individuals (e.g. decreased quantity and quality of life), populations (e.g. worsened health outcomes), and societies (e.g. broad economic and social effects). Research on patient work and solutions to address it are emerging across multiple disciplines, but are hindered by the invisibility of patient work and the lack of integrated research and interventions across disciplines, domains, and scales.
Our translational team researches and intervenes to address patient work using a transdisciplinary, community-engaged approach. Specifically, we have gathered interdisciplinary academic and community members/organizations together to carry out projects to address patient work at the micro-level among specific populations (e.g. chronic disease patients and members of historically marginalized racial groups accessing health services). We also make patient work visible at the macro level by integrating multiple streams of research and developing novel techniques to make patient work, and its effects on patients, populations, and society visible, thus addressable. Currently we are seeking partners to develop translational projects and address this pressing health problem at the micro and macro scale.