The Second Component: Understanding The Whole Person, Section 1 – Individual and Family
This chapter describes the second component of the patient-centered clinical method which is the integration of the concepts of health, disease, and illness with an understanding of the whole person, including an awareness of the patient’s position in the life cycle and his or her life context. The patient’s position in the life cycle takes into consideration the individual’s own personality development, whereas the patient’s context includes both his or her proximal and his or her distal contexts. The chapter examines the role of spirituality in patients’ lives and how they come to terms with illness. Clinicians develop an evolving understanding of the social and developmental context in which their patients live their lives. Specific aspects of the patient’s family dynamics or developmental difficulties may not necessarily be shared with the patient but guide the practitioner in the management and care of the patient.