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Happy 6th Birthday, Families & Health!

Posted By Matthew P. Martin, Thursday, January 11, 2018

The beginning of this year marks the 6th birthday for the Families & Health blog. Here are some highlights from the past year of posts.

 

In January, we published a tongue-in-cheek piece about "Making Family Great Again".

"Now, a word of caution: the other side will attempt to convince you that the family is passé and that the future is the "population”, the "community”. They will cleverly concede that the family was instrumental in helping our pre-industrial progenitors but that now is the time for the physician to look beyond the family and into a patient’s "community”. They believe that it takes a village to care for your sickly grandfather and not the adult children. They believe your neighborhood is going to give you a hug and encourage you to cut back on your drinking. They believe in population health, not family health. Little do they know, the family is the basic unit of any population. Strong families lead to a strong population. It’s a beautiful thing, am I right? Of course I’m right."

 

In February, we published a piece on adverse childhood events called "Where There's Smoke There's Fire".

"The adoption of unhealthy behaviors is not the only explanation behind the strong connection between ACEs and later development of chronic disease, as pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains in her TEDMED talk on the profound ways in which the ACE study changed her clinical practice. Even so, reframing our way of looking at unhealthy behaviors--not as problems themselves but as adaptive solutions to problems--broadens our perspective and increases the likelihood with which we are able to intervene and help patients to adopt healthier behaviors."

 

 

 

In May we published an insightful person piece about caregiving called "My Vexing/Gratifying 7 Years of Caregiving". 

"As a clinical psychologist specializing in helping families struggling with illness, I thought I had some idea of what I was getting into. But, looking back, I did only partially. Real-life caregiving for my mom was much more personal and perturbing, complex and challenging, gratifying and vexing than my clinical work or academic reading could have prepared me for. Like all family caregivers, I suffered growing pains but learned a great deal."

 

In July we published a first-time series on spirituality. Here is an excerpt from Part 1.

"Not too many moons ago I stumbled over how to assess spirituality in the clinical setting. Even with the presence of prompting question on the diagnostic assessment, I still threw out: “you’re religious right?” nodding my head in hopes we wouldn’t have to “go there”. It wasn’t until I was steeped in a family medicine residency program serving a high-risk population (e.g., multiple health disparities, trauma histories) that I made an intentional move to ask more purposeful questions regarding the role of religion and spirituality in my patient’s illness and suffering narratives."

 

 

 

In September, we published a piece on "Socially Assistive Robots". 

"There is enough evidence and momentum now to suggest that robots will likely begin to help with integrated behavioral health services in the next five to ten years. Will robots also help in family-centered care? Can they use a complex model like emotionally focused therapy to help a couple facing infertility issues? That future is way down the line in my mind."

 

Finally, in October, we published a piece on "Latino/a populations".

"The family was concerned that the doctors and nurses would see them just as they saw themselves: broken. Together we met with the team and discussed the themes and concerns that had come up and how we could clarify the treatment plan so that the family felt comfortable in returning. The team reflected that their aim was to build up patients with follow up and recommendations so that patients can return to a stable life. The team was excited to adapt their approach with cultural considerations by checking in with the family each step of the way to not only heal the body, but to treat the self too."

 

 

We have some great stuff planned for this coming year. Be sure to subscribe to email notifications, follow CFHA on Twitter, or check back on the website. 

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Randall Reitz says...
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2018
Thanks Matt. Both the blogs have thrived under your stewardship!
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