Illness can lead to emotional instability and permanent or temporary physical disability. Patients might also experience reduced levels of independence and/or modifications of their roles in family and society. These changes may also have significant effects on family members and caregivers’ lifestyles and quality of life. Chronic exposure to stressors, such as medical treatments, side effects, complications, or hospital admissions, can deplete the internal and external coping resources of a patient and his or her family system.
Medical social workers confront the challenges posed by illness every day. In addressing these concerns, medical social workers focus attention on the impact of illness on patients and families. Through ongoing assessment, they consider how and if this impact might change with the progression of illness, whether positive or negative.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review this week’s resources. Consider the experience of illness by patients and families. Think about emotional or psychological factors associated with illness and the impact of illness on patients and families.
By Day 3
Post a description of three major emotional or psychological factors that influence both patients and their families. Then, explain patients’ and their families’ experiences in dealing with illness and associated disability. Explain one of these factors that might be challenging for a medical social worker to address. Then, explain strategies that a medical social worker might employ to address the factor.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.