The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper

I have written the first and will attach the paper with the questions
Identify one person from the illness group you chose in Week 1. The person should not be a patient at the facility in which you work. You can use friends, family members, or coworkers. Do not use the person’s name in the paper but only initials. Administer the questionnaire you created in Week 1 to that person. Compile the data and analyze the responses to better illustrate where this person, his or her family, and friends are in relation to accepting the diagnosis in relation to the standard health or illness definitions. The analysis should also include coping skills, treatment, and support aspects of the illness. Identify how this will direct care plan development for the chosen illness group.
Compile a report of your interview with the questions you created, the responses you received, your analysis, and your interpretation of how it will affect planning care for the group in a 4- to 5-page Microsoft Word document.
Support your responses with examples.  The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper

The Impact of Chronic Illness


A cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on the individual, family members and friends as well. A cancer diagnosis and the ensuing phases of cancer and its treatment can cause intense stress and distress to both the patient and the family. This is because the patient and the family experience numerous problems coping with the cancer diagnosis because cancer is viewed as a disease that comes with immeasurable pain, suffering, anguish, and investable death. As a result, the patient and the family go through various stages of adjusting to cancer. The emotional reactions to cancer diagnosis may encompass anger, distress, guilt, adjustment pain, and sometimes failure to accept the diagnosis. The patient and the family are faced with a future defined with an uncertainty that includes treatment routines, side effects of the treatments, threat of cancer recurrence and metastasis, and treatment failure. Accordingly, this paper presents a report of an interview conducted with a patient with a cancer diagnosis. The report will analyze the patient’s response to determine the impact of cancer on the patient, family, and friends as well.

Analysis of the Responses

The patient XX, a 65-year-old Caucasian female was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3, 6 months ago. She has been working as a teacher throughout her life and her highest level of education was a Master’s degree. She has never smoked in her life and according to the patient, she adhered to a healthy lifestyle the reason the cancer diagnosis was very shocking to her. She always believed adopting a healthy lifestyle was key to preventing many chronic diseases. The patient was previously happily married and lived with her husband. However, after the diagnosis, her husband was so much affected to the extent of being diagnosed with depression, two months after the diagnosis. Studies have shown that cancer diagnosis can be very shocking to the family members and may cause significant anxiety and distress as the family members may feel angry, helpless, and become stressed at the possibility of losing their loved one (Woźniak & Izycki, 2014).

The patient seemed somewhat sad and withdrawn throughout the interview (questionnaire). The patient stated that upon receiving the diagnosis she felt lost and overwhelmed. According to the patient, when the doctor disclosed the diagnosis, she had a feeling of impending doom and the only thing she could think of was the inevitable death. The patient had undergone hysterectomy and this had significantly reduced her ability to perform activities of daily living. For example, the family of the patient had to employ a person to help her in activities such as cooking and performing other household chores. According to Selvanathan et al. (2019) major surgical procedures such as hysterectomy significantly reduce the ability of an individual to perform activities of daily living. The patient had also undergone a colostomy a procedure that had significantly lowered her quality of life. For example, the caregiver employed by her family had to assist her in activities such as taking a bath and even toileting. Evidence indicates that the inability to perform such personal activities can significantly reduce an individual’s quality of life (Selvanathan et al., 2019).  The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper

According to the patient, her religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as her family support is what kept her going and gave her the courage to keep undergoing the aggressive chemotherapy treatments and fighting the disease. Woźniak & Izycki (2014) explain that the family plays an important role in providing emotional support to patients fighting cancer. In addition, the family may be involved in monitoring treatment adherence, symptom management, administering medication, and helping with personal care. In addition, religion and spirituality have been shown to play an important part in helping cancer patients cope with the disease. Religion and spirituality also help patients and their families to find meaning and have a sense of personal growth while living with cancer and undergoing cancer treatment (Lee, 2019).

The patient added that she would like me to provide her with educational information about cancer, how to manage the side effects of the medications, and the proper diet to take to prevent the aggressive growth of the cancer cells. The patient reported that she gets information on how to manage the disease from the primary caregiver, her daughter who is a nurse and online resources. Seeking information regarding cancer and its treatment provides the patient with some sense of control and it is also a coping mechanism (Seiler & Josef, 2019).

The patient confirmed that cancer has significantly affected her general health and activity level. She further stated that her personal preferences had changed since the diagnosis. Initially, she was a very outgoing and outdoor person but after her diagnosis and the start of the aggressive cancer treatments she had resorted to reading and watching television. This is because of her limited mobility. Before the diagnosis, the patient said that she had hopes of finishing her Ph.D. and starting her won consultant firm. However, after the diagnosis, her hopes and morale of completing her Ph.D. had dwindled and she no longer looked forward to becoming a professor and starting the consultant firm. Li et al (2016) provide that cancer is associated with short life-span and thus the diagnosis may take away an individual hope to pursue future goals, in spite of undergoing the treatment. The patient along with her family had changed her diet. This is because with the colostomy, the patient was advised to avoid foods that are hard to digest. In addition, the patient reported that her children kept looking for information on the right diet and therefore they insisted on her eating low sugar food in order to prevent the growth of cancer cells.


Regarding the emotional needs, the patient responded that her family had sought counseling services after the diagnosis and this helped her in accepting the diagnosis. The family members were also very supportive and this significantly helped her emotionally. Whenever she feels stressed, she starts praying and reading religious books which really gives her hope. Spirituality has been shown to be an effective coping mechanism and a source of hope for patients fighting cancer (Jim et al., 2015). Regarding screening, the patient is well aware of breast cancer screening and cervical cancer screening but never heard of screening for ovarian cancer. This can be attributed to the lack of reliable methods to screen ovarian cancer in women without any signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer (Chien & Poole, 2017).

Regarding treatment, the patient has been undergoing chemotherapy which was very agonizing especially during the start of the treatment. However, her healthcare team has been very supportive. For example, nurses educated her about the available medications to address the side effects of chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment journey, fatigue and reduced immunity have been a major cause of psychosocial stress for the patient. In addition, chemotherapy has been forcing the patient and her family members to strictly observe schedules of medical appointments and hospital admissions, and also reassign family roles because the patient was not able to meet the obligations due to the surgical procedures, fatigue, and other side effects of chemotherapy (Woźniak & Izycki, 2014). The patient concluded the interview by stating that the only cherished memory and what made her happy throughout the journey was the support the family had given her since the diagnosis. The patient was particularly happy with her husband who was always there to provide any form of support from emotional support, financial support, to support personal activities such as bathing and toileting.  The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper

Effect on the Care Plan

The provided information from the patient indicates that support and coping skills significantly help the patient to cope with the diagnosis, the disease and treatment as well. Spirituality and seeking information are shown to be important coping skills when facing a chronic disease like cancer. Support from both the family and the healthcare team has also been shown to play an important role in helping the patient cope with cancer (Woźniak & Izycki, 2014). Therefore, when developing a care plan for cancer patients, the nurse should integrate support, the appropriate religious and spiritual component, and education into the patients’ care plans. In addition, it is important for the nurses and other healthcare providers to address the fears of patients and the family throughout the cancer journey (Seiler & Josef, 2019).

Chronic Cancer

For more than most of my life, I have observed the difficulties that people face as they attempt to use our health care system and try to manage their care. Knowledge is power, and I find that I need more with the patients that I see daily to educate and assist with their emotions and answer questions. I have chosen cancer for the specific chronic illness because it is cancer that cannot be cured (, 2019). My interest stems deep and long from my family, friends and patients who were chosen by cancer. Cancer patients must cope with a great deal of distress and confusion.  Recently, I had a patient that will have forever made a difference in my career. I will share, I had a newly diagnosed patient with cancer, and she had been scheduled for surgery to remove the mass and had been in and out of physicians’ offices and this was in a duration of three days. She presented in presurgical services exhausted, sad, sacred, and confused with her daughter by her side at the presurgical wellness clinic in the hospital. I started the visit, then her phone rang, and it was her doctor, so I insisted that she take the call. The look in her eyes about put me to tears and it began, information and results and more information with a look of awe and longing to be anyplace but where she was sitting then the doctor spoke with me to provide orders on medication. He was concerned with her well-being and asked please if I could explain to the patient a realistic explanation of his finding because he felt he did not reach the patient. So, it began with questions and more questions and as we all talked and my experience with in health care prepared me for moments of uncertainty. After this experience, I will be forever challenged to become more aware of cancer and provide patient centered care, support and health education. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, 1.6 million are diagnosed and 600,000 die each year, but many kinds of cancer can be prevented with the correct screening and lifestyle changes (CDC, 2019).  In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease (National Cancer Institute, 2018).

In terms of the clinical implications of comorbidity and morbidity, there is a high impact on the aspects of care: from prevention, screening, and diagnosis to prognosis, cancer treatment, and health service needs. It has been estimated that national expenditures for cancer care in the United States were $147.3 billion (National Cancer Institute, 2018). Because cancer can target the entire body and has no clear diagnosis or direction. Chronic cancer is cancer that cannot be cured but that ongoing treatment, also called extended treatment can control for months or years. The goal of extended treatment is to help patients live quality lives for as long as possible. (, 2019) In 2012, cancer globally is responsible for an estimated 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths. The number of new cases is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030 (National Cancer Institute, 2018). Approximately 70% occur in low-and-middle income countries of the world (World Health Organization, 2018).

Patient engagement is very important as we as healthcare workers must consider patient safety and quality care. The holistic approach that uses a team and involves the patient and family is a place to begin the plan for patient-centered care. As I begin to work on a care plan for chronic cancer, I would review and collect demographic data, health history, previous history of encounters, chart information thoroughly and compare the biomedical goals made. My patient questionnaire will provide the information to discover a holistic plan of care for the patient and include family:

  1. What can I do to assist you in your care and how can we work together?
  2. Do you have any religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that would impact your care?
  3. What support systems do you have in place and are they helpful?
  4. How do you learn best?
  5. What has been your reaction to your state of illness?
  6. Are you having any physical limitations?
  7. Where is the cancer located?
  8. What amount of cancer and how far has it spread?
  9. What is your general health and activity level?
  10. What are your personal preferences?
  11. What goals do you hope to achieve and work towards?
  12. How much do you understand about your current state of illness?
  13. Has it been difficult to define what you need for a quality of life?
  14. Have you met your emotional needs?
  15. How is your diet?
  16. How much do you know about preventive screenings?
  17. I would inquire ethnicity and marital status, time of diagnosis?
  18. Where were you born and what level of education have you completed?
  19. What has been your working history?
  20. Do you smoke?
  21. Where have you lived as an adult?
  22. How would you describe your health journey and experience with your healthcare team?
  23. What is your most cherished memory?
  24. What has made you happy?
  25. What have you been grateful for through your journey?

Current goal for Cancer from Healthy People 2020 is to reduce the number of new cancer cases, as well as illness, disability, and death (Healthy People 2020, 2019). The cancer objective support monitoring trends in cancer and survival to better assess the progress made toward decreasing the burden of cancer in the United States. In future years, costs will increase as our population ages and cancer diagnosis increases. Today with patient-centered care and high standards placed on effective communication between healthcare providers, patients and family members promote better outcomes and shared knowledge to meet patient values. It is within Healthy People 2020 objectives assess whether people understand and remember they receive about cancer screening. There is supported research that shows patients cite a recommendation from a health care provider as the most important reason for having a screening (Healthy People 2020, 2019). Cancer has a domino effect in that it can affect the family, and the nation as well. The financial costs of cancer are devastating on the patient, family, and the nation. The patient and family must bear the burden of costs associated with treatment. Many low-income families do not have health insurance, so the state and government were bear the costs of treatment for patients with cancer.  This makes the whole situation a viscous cycle, in which the government must pay for the treatment and costs associated with cancer. Community health promotion and education is extremely important for lose who cannot get the medical care that they need, and some do not have an educational basis not make wise choices (, 2019). As healthcare professionals we need to educate and teach how to shop and make healthy meal choices as well as smoking cessation and drinking in moderation they would see a great difference in their overall health and well-being.  The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper

The healthy people 2020 goals and objectives for cancer are to reduce the number of new cancer cases, as well as the illness, disability, and death caused by cancer. ( 2014).  Healthy people 2020 has a vast array of resources to help give pertinent information to people and patients who would like to become informed about the disease, learn preventative measures, and treatment options. Chronic Cancer is complex and there are many factors that contribute to maintaining a quality of life to which meets personal goals and values.  Patient centered planning and monitoring will assist the goal to reduce cancer and become better educated as providers, so we have the skills and tools to be patient advocates for positive outcomes. Cancer is a horribly way to die as a nurse I have watched many passes away and I have wonder for those who survive the diagnosis.

References (2019, December 7). Retrieved from Doctor Approved Patient Information, Living with Chronic Cancer: Cancer.Net

CDC. (2019, April 11). Retrieved from National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

Chronic Diease. (2019, December 3). Retrieved from National Center for Chronic Disease Preventation and Health Promation:

Healthy People 2020. (2019, December 3). Retrieved from Office of Disease Preventation and Health Promotion:

National Cancer Institute. (2018, April 27). Retrieved from Cancer Statistics:

World Health Organization. (2018, September 12). Retrieved from Cancer:>Newsroom >Fact sheets.  The Impact of Chronic Illness Essay Paper





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