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Problem Solving in the Context of Health and Illness

  • By: Laura N. Gitlin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Problem solving is a core feature of the clinical reasoning process used by health and human service professionals when working with individuals who have complex health conditions requiring symptom management and with the families who care for them. It is a practical and generic approach that can be used by any health and human service professional to help individuals and families manage health care challenges.

Approaches to problem solving vary. They can range from broad thinking and action processes to a highly structured approach following manuals. The latter is exemplified by problem-solving therapy (PST), a formal therapeutic modality developed in psychology that teaches problem-solving skills. PST has been extensively tested in randomized trials and shown to be effective for individuals who are either at risk for ...

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