The experience of illness can reach beyond the patient and impact the family system considerably. Patients experience illness through the lenses of their personal emotions, past experiences, stage of life, familial role, social relationships, responsibilities, stressors, and cultural and spiritual beliefs. Other factors, including the nature of the illness and comorbid conditions, also influence how the patient perceives illness. Together, these factors impact how and whether patients seek care, utilize health resources, and receive and adhere to treatment—all of which eventually impact the outcome of the illness.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Think about a patient’s emotional or psychological response to illness and the factors (e.g., depression, stress, anxiety) that might contribute to this response. Select two factors that you believe are important and might critically affect a patient’s course of life beyond family (e.g., at work, school, social life, role in the community). Consider the stages of an illness—diagnosis, treatment, adherence to treatment, worsening of condition, complications, and survival.
By Day 4
Post a description of the two factors you selected. Explain how these factors influence illness and a patient’s life beyond his or her family. Then, explain how these factors might present themselves during at least two stages during the course of illness. Finally, explain how a medical social worker might intervene to ensure that the patient receives the services he or she needs to cope best during each of these stages.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.