As healthcare costs continue to increase, the squeeze of providing affordable high quality care continues to be at the forefront of the debate. One possible answer has been to explicitly include family members and social support systems as key players in helping provide care to patients. No longer seen as only a ‘resource,' family members are being looked to as cornerstones in ensuring patients receive the best care possible. This link presents an AARP report entitled Moving Toward Person- and Family-Centered Care, which outlines PFCC in regards to older adults with chronic illness and/or disability.
Something to consider- as the healthcare field continues to place a higher premium on patients' relationships and connection to social supports as a means to defray gaps in care, how might medical family therapy position itself to help this discussion along? After all, as medical family therapists we know the power of these relationships, their effect on our biopsychosocial well-being, and perhaps most importantly, the difficulty many families face in taking on the care of a loved one. Perhaps this call for family involvement is a concurrent call for MedFT involvement as well?
Feinberg, L. (March, 2012). Moving Toward Person- and Family-Centered Care. Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/ltc/2012/moving-toward-person-and-family-centered-care-insight-AARP-ppi-ltc.pdf
Dan Marlowe is the co-editor of the Growing MedFT Blog, and the Director of Applied Psychosocial Medicine for the Duke/Southern Regional AHEC Family Medicine Residency Program in Fayetteville, NC. He obtained his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy and PhD in Medical Family Therapy from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.