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Flashcards in Chronic Conditions Deck (14):

What is meant by Chronic Illness?

Chronic illness is where the diagnosis is already known and the patient has been dealing with their condition for a period of time already.
- The focus for the doctor is helping the patient to manage their illness.
- For this reason, the history of the illness is important and the current activity of the disease.


Beyond the cardinal features, what is it important to ascertain for a chronic condition?

Psycho-social context of the patient:
- establish how the disease impacts the patients life
- establish how the lifestyle of the patient impacts on the disease


What is asthma?

Asthma is a respiratory disease characterised by inflammation which leads to an increase in airway responsivness to a variety of triggers


What are the typical symptoms of asthma?

- dyspnoea
- cough
- wheezing


How is severity of asthma identified?

- quantified using peak expiratory flow (basis for asthma treatment)
- spirometry
- frequency of symptoms
(need for GCS and hospitalisation can also indicate severity)


What are some common precipitating factors for asthma?

- viral illnesses, exercise, pollens, smoke, dust and cold air


What should you ascertain about the time course of a patient's asthma?

- onset: childhood? adult?
- occurences: daily? with seasons? infrequent?
- Change over time?
- Episodes?
- Use of medications over time?


What are some relieving factors for asthma?

- removal of stimuli
- anti-asthmatic drugs such as bronchodilators and GCS


What are some associated features of asthma?

- atopic conditions (eczema, hav fever, hives)


What are some considerations for asthma in terms of severity?

- interfere with ADLs?
- comparison with previous attacks
- drugs/hospitalisations? frequency etc?


What are important elements of a social history?

- relationships and support systems !!
--> Who lives at home with you?
--> Where do you live?
- education and occupation !!
- finances
- ethnicity
- religion and spirituality
- hobbies !!
- pets !!
- travel !!


What are important elements of an occupational history?

- may be due to occupational exposure
- ask about current/previous employment
- be sensitive to unemployment and issues surrounding job security
- how does work impact illness/illness impact work
- hobbies
- tasks at home


What are the elements of the atopic triad?

- eczema
- hayfever
- asthma


How would you recount a patient to a superior in a hospital environment? Summary?

Name, Age, Occupation
--> who presents with (descriptor + condition/ symptome/...a likely...diagnosis)
--> on a background of..../ the context of ...
--> He has the following risk factors/FmHx
--> His history in more detail is as follows... (time course etc.)