Items in AFP with MESH term: Disabled Persons
ABSTRACT: The simple request for a sick note can disguise important medical, psychologic or social issues. Disability may be influenced by social and cultural factors as well as by patient expectations. Assessment of impairment and subsequent disability is best made on the basis of objective data by use of a biopsychosocial model to ensure that the expression of disability does not mask other unaddressed psychologic or social issues. Enabling prolonged disability in such a situation can be a dysfunctional physician response to a maladaptive process. The physician's role is to treat the condition, to fulfill the appropriate role of patient advocate, to facilitate health (including resumption of activity), to offer proactive advice on the basis of prognosis, to be familiar with the patient's social obligations and resources and to provide education about the therapeutic benefits of returning to optimal function. This factual, medical-based approach offers an effective preventive strategy that will save many patients from unnecessary disability and morbidity.
Fingertip Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: The family physician often provides the first and only medical intervention for fingertip injuries. Proper diagnosis and management of fingertip injuries are vital to maintaining proper function of the hand and preventing permanent disability. A subungual hematoma is a painful condition that involves bleeding beneath the nail, usually after trauma. Treatment requires subungual decompression, which is achieved by creating small holes in the nail. A nail bed laceration is treated by removing the nail and suturing the injured nail bed. Closed fractures of the distal phalanx may require reduction but usually are minimally displaced and stable, and can be splinted. Open or intra-articular fractures of the distal phalanx may warrant referral. Patients with mallet finger cannot extend the distal interphalangeal joint because of a disruption of the extensor mechanism. Radiographs help to differentiate between tendinous and bony mallet types. Most mallet finger injuries heal with six to eight weeks of splinting, but some require referral. Flexor digitorum profundus avulsion always requires referral. Dislocations of the distal interphalangeal joint are rare and usually occur dorsally.
Disabled ... or Otherwise Enabled? - Editorial
ABSTRACT: Family physicians are frequently asked to complete disability certification forms for workers. The certification process can be contentious because of the number of stakeholders, the varying definitions of disability and the nature of the administrative systems. Insufficient training on disability during medical school and residency complicates this process. Disability systems discussed include workers' compensation, private disability insurance, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Strategies that help the physician complete disability certification forms effectively include identification of disability type, ascertainment of the definition of disability being applied, evaluation of workplace demands and essential job functions, assessment of worker capacity, and accurate and timely completion of the forms in their entirety.
Physical Examination for the Special Olympics - Editorials
Disability Revisited - Curbside Consultation
Smart-Home Technology for Persons with Disabilities - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Family physicians commonly care for older patients with disabilities. Many of these patients need help maintaining a therapeutic home environment to preserve their comfort and independence. Patients often have little time to decide how to address the limitations of newly-acquired disabilities. Physicians can provide patients with general recommendations in home modification after careful history and assessment. Universal design features, such as one-story living, no-step entries, and wide hallways and doors, are key adaptations for patients with physical disabilities. Home adaptations for patients with dementia include general safety measures such as grab bars and door alarms, and securing potentially hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies and medications. Improved lighting and color contrast, enlarged print materials, and vision aids can assist patients with limited vision. Patients with hearing impairments may benefit from interventions that provide supplemental visual and vibratory cues and alarms. Although funding sources are available, home modification is often a nonreimbursed expense. However, sufficient home modifications may allow the patient and caregivers to safely remain in the home without transitioning to a long-term care facility.
Caregiver Care - Article
ABSTRACT: In 2009, nearly 66 million Americans (three in 10 U.S. households) reported at least one person providing unpaid care as a family caregiver. More adults with chronic conditions and disabilities are living at home than ever before, and family caregivers have an even higher level of responsibility. Caring for loved ones is associated with several benefits, including personal fulfillment. However, caregiving is also associated with physical, psychological, and financial burdens. Primary care physicians can aid in the identification, support, and treatment of caregivers by offering caregiver assessments—interviews directed at identifying high levels of burden—as soon as caregivers are identified. Repeat assessments may be considered when there is a change in the status of caregiver or care recipient. Caregivers should be directed to appropriate resources for support, including national caregiving organizations, local area agencies on aging, Web sites, and respite care. Psychoeducational, skills-training, and therapeutic counseling interventions for caregivers of patients with chronic conditions such as dementia, cancer, stroke, and heart failure have shown small to moderate success in decreasing caregiver burden and increasing caregiver quality of life. Further research is needed to further identify strategies to offset caregiver stress, depression, and poor health outcomes. Additional support and anticipatory guidance for the care recipient and caregiver are particularly helpful during care transitions and at the care recipient’s end of life.