Better Not to Know in Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Theory Essay examples

Decent Essays
Mishel’s (1988) Uncertainty in Illness theory is a mid-range nursing theory that examines how uncertainty can affect patients. In addition, Mishel’s theory identifies causes of uncertainty that negatively or positively affect the patient. If an individual is spiraling down a known path of illness, they may perceive uncertainty as a benefit. However, illness uncertainty causes breakdowns, fear of the illness, emotional distress, loss of control, and inappropriate coping methods (Mishel 1988). These conditions if left untreated will lead to patients that are unable to form cognitive structures for illness related events, develop improper psychological adjustments, poor decision-making, and traumatic stress responses (Mishel 1988). Along with…show more content…
The authors focus their study on the uncertainty of those people infected with the disease that are not currently presenting symptoms. Using Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Scale the authors identify and measure four specific psychological points. They collectively measure the patient’s objective cues about the state of the illness as ambiguity. The complexity as how hard it is to receive and understand treatment for Hepatitis C in a healthcare setting. The inconsistency is viewed as information from health care providers that may change or is inconsistent with other information previously presented. Unpredictability is how the present illness differs from what the patient has experienced previously. According to Baily, et al. (2009) lack of treatment to cure the disease will lead to a patient’s uncertainty on how the illness will present itself in the future. Thus, patients must face the unknown factors of their disease progression and manage life with their chronic illness. In Chronic Hepatitis C, tracking of outcomes and progressions are difficult, and disease trajectory varies from person to person (Baily, et al 2009). In addition, uncertainty stems from lack of knowledge of the disease, loss of control, and expectations of possible relapse of symptoms in the future. The study conducted by Baily, et al. (2009) showed a correlation between the amount of illness uncertainty that had adverse effects on fatigue, depression, quality of
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