Artigo em revista científica Q1
Pharmaceuticalisation and the social management of sleep in old age
Elsa Pegado (Pegado, E.); Noémia Lopes (Lopes, N.); Joana Zózimo (Zózimo, J.);
Título Revista
Ageing and Society
Reino Unido
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This paper discusses sleep as a social phenomenon, analysing it in the older population within the frame of a growing pharmaceuticalisation of conditions associated with old age. Two analytical dimensions are privileged: one pertains to patterns of sleep in old age, showing these patterns to be socially differentiated; while another has to do with the subjective experience of sleep, particularly in terms of the social meanings attributed to sleep as well as the strategies employed to manage it. These strategies may be therapeutic or non-therapeutic, as an expression of different rationales favouring or resisting the pharmaceuticalisation of sleep. This analysis is empirically based on data from a research project on the consumption of psychopharmaceuticals among the older population, in an urban context in Portugal. The research methodology followed a mixed-methods approach: a survey was deployed to a sample of individuals aged 65 years and over (N = 414); and life history interviews were conducted with a number of respondents (N = 30) from the previous survey. Both techniques included individuals with physical and cognitive autonomy, living at home or in institutional settings. The results reveal a considerable social adherence to the use of pharmaceuticals to manage sleep problems, although consumption practices are socially differentiated in terms of gender, age and living contexts. They also reveal the use of non-therapeutic strategies, stemming from a resistance to the pharmaceuticalisation of sleep.
Older population,Pharmaceuticalisation,Sleep management,Sleep patterns
  • Medicina Clínica - Ciências Médicas
Registos de financiamentos
Referência de financiamento Entidade Financiadora
UID/SOC/03126/2013 Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia