Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cynthia McRae & Eileen Chaves & Erin A. Sullivan
Chronic illnesses are those incurable conditions that are not contagious, but have multiple risk factors and often involve extended periods of decline resulting in increasing functional impairment. Examples of chronic illnesses include hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Living with a chronic illness presents many challenges, not only for the person with the illness, but also for family members who must adapt to the changing life circumstances that often accompany ongoing health concerns. Evidence suggests that the quality of life of persons living with chronic conditions is mediated by behavioral and social mechanisms. Beginning with diagnosis, counselors can play a very important role in assisting patients and families with adjustment to chronic illness, assessing quality-of-life issues related to the illness, and developing interventions to help clients learn new skills and ways of coping with challenging situations. Counselors can also help physicians and the healthcare team to understand the multidimensional psychosocial ...