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Contact us:

Phone: +44 (0)1273 337515

Email: moa@sussex.ac.uk

Current Directive (Autumn 2023)

On this page, you will find the most recent Directive to be mailed to the Mass Observers. You can view and download past copies of Mass Observation Project Directives here.

Autumn 2023

Part: 1 Everyday living with multiple long-term health conditions

In Part.1 of this Directive we would like you to write about your thoughts, feelings and/or experiences of multiple long-term health conditions.

Defined by The Academy of Medical Sciences as the co-existence of two or more physical, mental and/or infectious health conditions that are typically present for 12 months or more, multiple long-term health conditions can take many forms. Some people are born with conditions that they live with throughout their lives, while other people acquire conditions later on in life. The combination of these conditions and experiences of living with them are wide-ranging.

The number of people living with long-term multiple health conditions is significant and rising: around one in four adults in England live with two or more long-term health conditions and this proportion is expected to increase.

We hope to capture people’s understanding and experience through replies to this directive. We are keen to hear from you, whether you have direct, indirect or no experience at all of multiple long-term health conditions.

Awareness and understandings

To start, we would like you to write down 5 words that come to mind when you hear the term ‘multiple long-term health conditions’.

We are interested in all long-term conditions, but some examples are arthritis, endometriosis, chronic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, diabetes, depression, and dementia.

Do you consider yourself as someone who lives with multiple long-term health conditions? Maybe you have a relationship with and/or care for someone who does. If so, please share your experiences of this.

Please be conscious not to include any identifiable information of yourself or others.

What are your thoughts on people’s awareness of multiple long-term health conditions?

Have you seen or heard it discussed in the media or popular culture? What kinds of messages have you encountered? Would you say this has changed over time? Please share your thoughts and opinions.

Do you think people who live with multiple long-term health conditions are viewed differently in society than those without? If so, in what ways? In what ways do you think the experience of multiple long-term health conditions may be influenced by people’s personal characteristics (such as their age, gender, ethnicity, education, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation)? Please share your thoughts on this.

Everyday living

We are interested to hear how aspects of everyday life are affected by multiple long-term health conditions.

In what ways do you think living with multiple long-term health conditions may affect:

  • Relationships with family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues? 
  • Living independently and self-care?
  • Engagement in neighbourhood or community?
  • Education, working life and retirement?
  • Social activities, holidays and leisure?

What actions do you, people you know, or others take to manage life with multiple long-term health conditions?

Across the life course

Regardless of your age or experience on this topic we are keen to know more about multiple longterm health conditions in the wider context of people’s lives. How do you think the experience of living with multiple long-term health conditions changes over a person’s lifetime?

Does anything stay the same? How might multiple long-term health conditions affect people’s plans for the future?

Please share your thoughts on this.

Health and social care

Thinking about multiple long-term health conditions, please share your thoughts or experiences of healthcare and/or social care.

How do people’s personal characteristics (such as their age, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation) affect their experiences of healthcare and/or social care for multiple long-term health conditions?

Have you or anyone you know who has multiple long-term health conditions accessed hospital care, either as an in-patient or out-patient? What about other types of care service?

Please share your thoughts and experiences. How could care could be improved? What was it like getting to and from hospital? How easy was it to navigate hospital environments?

How could hospital care for multiple long-term health conditions be improved? Were there other types of care that could have been offered?

Do you have any thoughts on how well health and/or social care professionals understand the experiences of people living with multiple long-term health conditions? Please share any experiences.

Finally, whose responsibility is it to manage and/or prevent multiple long-term health conditions?

On balance, is it the responsibility of the state, individuals, families or communities to manage and/or prevent long-term health conditions? Please share any other thoughts or opinions you have on this topic.

Task

If you have experienced multiple long-term health conditions directly or indirectly, we would be interested to see how this might affect key points in your life. We invite you to create a timeline of the significant events in your life. These events can be any you perceive to be important. We would then like you to add into the timeline any aspects of the experience of multiple long-term health conditions you consider significant. For example, the onset of conditions, periods of wellness, or interactions with health or social care.

Please remember not to include any identifying details

 

Part: 2 Seasons

In recent months people have been experiencing stormy weather in different areas across the UK, with storms Agnes, Babet and Ciaran. In the summer the month of June was confirmed as the hottest June in the UK since records began in 1884 (ONS).

For Part.2 we are interested in seasons and the changes we see and feel. We would like to hear your thoughts and experiences of this. We welcome your photos or illustrations on this theme. Please remember to not include any identifiable content.

Some prompts: 

  • Changes in nature with each season. Your observations and experiences of trees, plants and wildlife. For example, locations near where you live or places you visit frequently. 
  • How do the seasons make you feel? Do you have a favourite time of the year and/or experience any challenges with different seasons. 
  • We welcome your opinions and observations on climate change and its effect on the seasons.

Please share any thoughts or feelings on changes in the weather and temperature you have experienced over time.

Task

We would like you to keep an observational diary of a winter’s day. What do you notice and feel about the weather and signs of this season? We welcome your thoughts and experiences whether you are inside or experience the elements outside

 

Part: 3 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The news reports of this conflict are devastating, and we appreciate it is a challenging topic. It is optional (as Directives always are) to complete.

On 7th October the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a series of deadly surprise attacks on Israeli territory from Gaza. In response Israel declared war. Thousands of people have lost their lives, been injured and displaced. Diplomatic efforts are underway and humanitarian aid trucks have crossed borders. In the UK there have been reports of an increase in hate crimes and protests have taken place in cities across the UK.

Please share any thoughts, opinions, or experiences on this.