ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Patients with personality disorders are common in primary care settings; caring for them can be difficult and frustrating. The characteristics of these patients' personalities tend to elicit strong feelings in physicians, lead to the development of problematic physician-patient relationships, and complicate the task of diagnosing and managing medical and psychiatric disorders. These chronic, inflexible styles of perceiving oneself and interacting with others vary widely in presentation. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., these styles are categorized into three clusters based on their prominent characteristics: cluster A, the odd or eccentric (e.g., paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal); cluster B, the dramatic, emotional, or erratic (e.g., antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic); and cluster C, the anxious or fearful (e.g., avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive). Knowledge of the core characteristics of these disorders allows physicians to recognize, diagnose, and treat affected patients. The goal of management is to develop a working relationship with patients to help them receive the best possible care despite their chronic difficulties in interacting with physicians and the health care system. Effective interpersonal management strategies exist for these patients. These strategies vary depending on the specific diagnosis, and include interventions such as the use of specific communication styles, the establishment of clear boundaries, limit setting on the patients' behavior and use of medical resources, and provision of reassurance when appropriate. Additionally, medications may be useful in treating specific symptoms in some patients.
A Practical Guide to Crisis Management - Article
ABSTRACT: Family physicians often treat patients who are experiencing psychological or medical crises. Any event perceived as overwhelming by the patient may trigger a crisis reaction consisting of psychological and physiological symptoms. Physicians are encouraged to assist patients who are experiencing a crisis by: (1) providing reassurance and support; (2) evaluating the nature of the problem and determining the patient's mental, psychiatric, suicidal or homicidal, and medical statuses; (3) ensuring the safety of the patient and others; (4) assisting the patient in developing an action plan that minimizes distress, and obtaining patient commitment to the plan; and (5) following up with the patient and other relevant persons to ensure follow-through, assess progress, and provide additional assistance and support. Medication or referral for psychiatric or psychological counseling may be necessary for patients with continuing problems.
ABSTRACT: Patients who provide care to family members or friends with dementia are likely to be in a family physician's practice. The caregiver role can be stressful, and identifying these patients can give the family physician opportunities to help patients cope with the challenges of the caregiver role. Family physicians have a systematic approach for assessing the degree of caregiver burden in these patients. Because caregivers are at increased risk for depression and anxiety, screening should be done to exclude the presence of either disorder. The caregiver's skill in managing behavioral problems in the family member with dementia should be assessed. If there are problems, family physicians should provide practical counseling about common caregiving stresses and about resources that benefit caregivers. Helping the caregiver learn strategies for coping with difficulties may help reduce some of the stress the caregiver is experiencing.
The Unexpected When Expecting - Close-ups
Something That Amazes You - Close-ups
Healing Bodies and Souls: A Medical Missionary's Story - Balancing Act
Coping With the Stress of Being Sued - Feature