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Health Transition and Family Communication

  • By: Carla L. Fisher
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Family and health are interdependent. Family communication influences well-being, and health is impacted by kin interactions. When individuals experience health transitions, they do not cope alone. Rather, these experiences are embedded within a patient's family environment.

With health transitions come numerous stressful changes for both the patient and his or her family. Transitions related to health might involve complex alterations associated with one's body, spirit, and mind; identity; independence; decision making; relational roles; uncertainty management; and access to or allocation of resources. Stress and adaptation research indicates that people largely cope with these changes during health transitions through their interaction with family members. Family communication is an important factor in one's ability to cope and maintain well-being. To better understand the role of family during health ...

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