Essay on Long Term Conditions

3971 Words Jan 10th, 2011 16 Pages
Long-term Conditions

Word Count: 2,200

This essay explores and reflects on the lived experiences of an elderly patient living with the long-term condition (LTC) of psoriasis. A case study is used to illustrate some of the key features of LTCs and the impact they can have on a patient’s physical, psychological and social state. It is also going to be looking at the effect some of the key features can have on a patients support network or family. In addition it will examine the nurses role in the management of LTCs and the health and social policies that may have an impact on the care received by patient with LTCs.

The Department Of Health (2009) describes long-term conditions as chronic illnesses that can limit lifestyles. In
…show more content…
They brought forward new issues in her social life and in her psychological needs.

Lorig et al (2006) discuss the concept of The Vicious Symptom Cycle. This is where the chronic illness, in this case psoriasis, can produce pain and fatigue but the disease itself is not the only cause. These symptoms can add to and make other symptoms a lot worse. For example pain can cause depression (Christensen and Antoni, 2002, p. 168) and depression can lead to fatigue (Lorig et al 2006).

Anna’s skin irritation and pain disturbs her sleep causing her to suffer from fatigue and a lack of motivation. The irritation disturbs her sleep because her skin is very sensitive and fragile making it hard for her to sleep comfortably. In addition to this her skin is very damaged and broken down so as part of the Turnaround project that takes place in the hospital she was admitted to Anna needed to be turned and put in a new position every hour, with the help of ward to staff, to prevent pressure sores.

In Anna’s case the appearance of psoriasis on her skin was very noticeable. This had a huge affected on her self-esteem. Anna was very self-conscious about the way she looked and tended to isolate herself from other patients.

In discussion with Anna about her condition she expressed that when she was diagnosed with psoriasis she started to lead an extremely isolated life. Anna shut herself away in her home and only left
Open Document