Adjusting to illness and other major life events: how can GPs help?

David Murray Clarke, Louise Ellen Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: General practitioners often see patients who are struggling with a change in their life circumstances. When this change involves illness, the GP is well placed to provide support and practical assistance. However, research in this area has tended to concentrate on the patient who is overwhelmed and unable to cope, focusing on the negative consequences of anxiety and depression. OBJECTIVE: This article is designed to demonstrate the process of coping, and successful strategies that can be encouraged in the primary care setting. DISCUSSION: The process of coping involves thoughts and behaviours. A patient with a new diagnosis, or a threatening change in their health, will assess the situation and determine how much it threatens them (primary appraisal) and how well they feel they are able to cope (secondary appraisal). They will then begin their preferred coping strategies. The GP can provide support and encouragement throughout this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206 - 210
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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