Sperry poses the need for a comprehensive assessment informed by a biopsychosocial perspective when treating individuals with chronic illness. In our text, he identifies the formulation of the thirteen key markers that should be discussed with the patient during the assessment process.
These markers include:
1) Disease progression and impact of illness on functioning
2) Illness representation or explanatory model
3) Adequacy of health behaviors and exposure history
4) Early parental bond and adverse childhood experiences
5) Personal schemas and family narratives
6) Personality style or disorder
7) Family competence level and style
8) Religious and spiritual beliefs
9) Patient resources and self-capacities
10) Readiness for treatment and self-management capacity
11) Adequacy of treatment relationship with previous providers
12) Alignment between clinician-patient explanatory models and treatment goals
13) Phase of illness
Please select one of these markers and describe why you feel it is an important aspect of the assessment process:
Imagine that you are currently practicing as a health psychologist and provide examples of the way in which you could assess this particular marker in an individual that might come to seek services from you in an effort to cope with their specific chronic illness. You may provide examples of assessment strategies or semi-structured questions for any stage of disease progression. You may also cite and share existing screening tools that you consider helpful. Feel free to endorse any of the aforementioned factors or propose a different aspect of the illness process that you feel should routinely warrant clinical attention.
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