Self-management and respiratory disorders: Guiding patients from health counseling and self-management perspectives
People with a chronic disorder, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), need to change or adjust their behavior and/or environment to reduce or prevent discomfort and disability from their illness. Health care professionals – physicians, nurses, behavioral scientists, physiotherapists, and dietitians – play an important role in guiding patients. It is increasingly necessary that these professionals work in an interdisciplinary fashion to treat the patient. Varni (1983, p. 5) emphasizes that ‘the interdisciplinary approach is synergistic, integrating the knowledge and skills from the various disciplines into a coordinated plan for patient care.’ Such an approach assumes that all professionals have a working knowledge of the skills and expertise of other team members; it also suggests that all team members will, at one time or another, counsel the patient. Therefore, in this chapter, all professionals who work on interdisciplinary teams are referred to as health counselors.